The Peace Calendar Vol.2 No.8
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Roy McFarlane — September 1984
David Cleary — September 1984
OTTAWA – On the second to the last possible day, June 28th, the House of Commons squeaked through legislation creating the Canadian International Institute on Peace and Security.
Fourteen Canadians, one .American and two British women and men have subsequently agreed to serve on the Board of Directors.
They are: Norman Alcock, President of the World Federalists, and former President of the now defunct Canadian Peace Research Institute; William Barton, former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations; George Bell, Director of the Canadian Institute for Strategic Studies; Kristoff Bertram, former Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (London, England); Harriet Critchley, Director of Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary; Paul Demarais, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Power Corporation; Gwynne Dyer, Journalist, Producer of the NFB series WAR; William Epstein, former Director of the Disarmament Affairs Division of the United Nations; Margaret Fulton, President of Mount St. Vmcent University, Halifax; Albert Legault, Professor of Political Science at the Universite de Laval; Dennis McDermott, President of the Canadian Labour Congress; Joarma Miller, Director of Project Ploughshares, Saskatchewan; John Sigler, Professor of Political Science at Carleton University; Ian Smart former Director of Studies at the Royal Institute of International Affairs; Lois Wilson, former Moderator of the United Church of Canada, Paul Warnke, former SALT II negotiator; and Gerald Wright, Vice President of the Donner Foundation.
Observers say that, because over half the board is composed of prodisarmament people, the Executive Director, who is to be elected by the Canadian members of the Board, will likely have a disarmament background. The smaller portion of the Board, coming from fields concerned with strategic studies, will be more inclined to concentrate on the global military situ’ation as it is today. It remains to be seen how these two factions will interact.
Critics, though, are dismayed with how little progress the Institute has made. The Board has yet to meet, and while some members had hoped that a meeting would be held in August, it is unlikely that they will get together until early winter, perhaps not until January of 1985.
With a current budget of $1.5 million, the Institute is expected to be an information boon to the peace movement. On the other hand, some observers wonder when the Institute will get down to practical decisions, such as the election of the Executive Director, the setting of a course of action, or at least, the choosing of a home for the Institute.
Ann Rowan — September 1984
OTTAWA- A recent survey of the three federal party leaders conducted by the Canadian Centre for Arms Control and Disarmament (CCACD) suggests that Canada has a poorly developed understanding of its role in disarmament negotiations.
The 25 page survey, entitled Arms Control: A Question of Leadership, was released at a luncheon press conference held at the Chateau Laurier hotel, August 16. It contains the verbatim responses of Brian Mulroney, John Turner and Ed Broadbent to 16 questions on disarmament and on Canada’s role in international peace and security issues, including its role in NATO.
In response to a question on Canada’s NATO contribution and influence on arms control, Conservative leader Brian Mulroney claimed Canada’s influence could be upgraded by an increased commitment to and participation in NATO. However, Admiral Robert FaIls, the retired former head of NATO’s military committee, and a director of CCACD, dismissed Mulroney’s claim. FaIls pointed out that it was “highly unlikely” that increased contributions to NATO would do anything to increase Canadian influence beyond its present level as a third rank member after the U.S., Britain, and West Germany, who are the leaders within NATO.
Falls indicated that NATO already has a higher level of troop strength in Europe than the Warsaw Pact forces. Even if Canada doubled its troop levels, he said, he doubted it would add to our influence in NATO. He added that nuclear arms control is a bilateral concern of the U.S. and the Soviet Union, rather than a NATO objective.
ted the current U.S. position that arms control agreements must be negotiated from a position of strength. In particular, Mulroney stated that he “believe(s) that President Reagan and his administration want nuclear arms agreements that will be credible and verifiable, and a return to better East-West relations as witnessed in the era of detente.”
Prime Minister Turner, in response to quesions concerning elements of the Trudeau peace initiative, including the five power conference of nuclear states, reiterated his support for the style and content of the initiative. Turner also described NATO as an “effective instrument” for promoting Canada’s arms control and disarmament policies. Responding to other questions, Mr. Turner was often vague, and often answered by citing current government policy.
Ed Broadbent expressed support for an increased role for the United Nations while he advocated withdrawal from NATO. Broadbent how he felt the U.N. could play a role in curbing the nuclear arms race, but rather pointed out that it is primarily “a matter of bilateral negotiations between the superpowers.” John Turner suggested that a third Special Session on Disarmament be held by the U.N. Brian Mulroney, on the other hand, questioned the effectiveness of the U.N. as a forum for promoting arms control initiatives.
Members of the CCACD used the occasion of the press conference to comment on the foreign policy debate in Canada. When asked how he felt about the Canadian peace movement’s effectiveness, Admiral Falls stated that he didn’t agree with many of the specific proposals made by the peace movement, but he did feel that foreign policy would not have been discussed during the election at all if it had not been for the peace movement’s efforts.
Lawrence Hagen, research director of the CCACD, commenting on the recent discussion of a nuclear weapons freeze in the election campaign, pointed out that it was unclear what kind of freeze supportive candididates are advocating. Hagen argued that there seemed to be no distinction in candidates’ minds between a comprehensive freeze and a selective freeze (advocated by the U.S. Democratic party as a first step towards a comprehensive negotiated freeze.)
In their evaluation of the leaders’ responses, the CCACD concluded that there were few significant differences between the positions of the three leaders on particular questions such as the banning of specific weapons systems (e.g. high-level anti-satellite weapons, etc.). However, differences were evident in the attitudes towards the Reagan Administration and the question of which diplomatic route Canada should follow in exercising its influence in arms control issues.
John Lamb, executive director of the CCACD, concluded the press briefing by saying that in their opinion there is a need for sustained pressure from the peace movement and a need for better leadership in developing more realistic and viable Canadian foreign policy options if arms control and disarmament is to be a political ptiority for the new government.
For more information on the survey, the Canadian Centre for Arms Control and Disarmament can be contacted at 275 Slater St., Fifth Hoor, Ottawa, ON. KIP 5H9, telephone, 613-xxx-xxxx.
Gary Marchant — September 1984
“No serious member of the human race could not be for nuclear peace and a nuclear freeze, because what we’re talking about is the potential annihilation of the whole human race.”
— Geills Turner
“The freeze has become an hot topic. It has become an issue in the election… The broader peace movement was not sure it would become an issue and it has – so that’s a success which we can all celebrate. “
— Jim Stark
It seems everyone is talking about the ‘freeze.’ Early in the election campaign it appeared that economic realities and normal election rhetoric would obscure peace and disarmament issues. However, during the last few weeks, Canadian support for a nuclear freeze has rapidly become a prominent election issue.
The early August announcements by several key Liberal leaders (notably Lloyd Axworthy, Iona Campagnolo and Jean Chretien) that they support a freeze have further increased popular and media interest in this issue. At roughly the same time, Gallup Polls announced that 850j’o of the Canadians it surveyed supported a verifiable nuclear freeze (90% were against, 70% were undecided).
With all the preparatory and grassroots work the peace movement has done for this election, it seems that the freeze issue has captured the attention of both voters and politicians.
In Canada, most disarmament advocates understand support for the freeze to mean support for the bilateral freeze proposal in the United Nations. The latest version (Mexican – Swedish) of this proposal embraces; (1) a comprehensive test ban of nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles; (2) the complete cessation of the manufacture of nuclear weapons and of their delivery vehicles; (3) a ban on all further deployment of nuclear weapons and of their delivery vehicles; and (4) the complete cessation of the production of fissionable material for weapons purposes. All these measures would be subject to mutually agreed-upon verification procedures.
In the past, Canada has consistently voted against the U.N. freeze proposal. (Trudeau’s argument was that, as a member of NATO, Canada should not break ranks with the NATO opposition to the freeze.) But hopefully, with enough sympathetic and vocal MPs, Canada’s stand on the freeze could be reversed.
‘Canada for the Freeze,’ a campaign organized by Operation Dismantle, certainly deserves credit for bringing the freeze issue to the forefront in Canada. Using the results of the Gallup Poll, organizers set up a telephone bank to survey all the candidates across Canada to get their stands on the freeze. The results have been and will be published, both to inform voters and to pressure candidates into taking a firm stand in support of the freeze.
In the United States, the peace movement’s mechanism for pushing the freeze is called Freeze Voter ’84 — a national political action committee with 41 state affiliates. The central focus of the FV’84 campaign has been a canvassing effort in over 250 U.S. cities to identify supporters of the freeze in each precinct. Freeze Voter ’84 has endorsed over 200 Congressional candidates but has targetted its efforts on 9 Senate and 42 House races they consider ‘winnable.’ They will also be endorsing Democratic candidate Wailter Mondale in the Presidential race.
Organizers feel this present campaign is a more active political campaign than the freeze referenda held in 9’ states in 1982. This year, the peace movement wants to elect representatives who are peace supporters. Rather than limiting their focus to freeze proposals in the U.S. Congress, the U.S. peace movement has become more active in pressing Congress to cut off or to reduce funding for various nuclear weapons.
Supporters of the freeze in Canada, the U.N., the U.S. and elsewhere seem to share the view that the freeze is only a first step toward creating a safer, peaceful world. Disarmament of dangerous and threatening nuclear stockpiles is the key concern of the Canadian peace movement. Consequently, many activists feel that discussion of the freeze should be supplemented. by the broader issues of peace and disarmament. The freeze has become an important campaign issue and can be used as a building block for increasing the size and strength of the Canadian peace movement.
Ross Smyth — September 1984
VANCOUVER – Three highprofile representatives from the major federal parties all called for a bilateral and verifiable nuclear weapons freeze during a televised debate on disarmament in Vancouver, August 7th. This agreement emerged even though the positions advocated by Liberal candidate Iona Campagnolo, and Conservative candidate John Fraser, contradict existing party policies.
Campagnolo and Fraser, along with Pauline Jewett of the NDP, were selected by their parties to participate in a two-hour debate jointly organized by TV station CKVU, the Vancouver chapter of the United Nations Association, and the End the Arms Race Coalition.
The debate was divided into three sections dealing with different aspects of the arms race and disarmament. In each section, the candidates gave a short prepared statement and then were questioned by an audience of 80 delegates from different endorsing organizations of the EAR coalition.
Along with support of a freeze and a call for a full parliamentary debate on arms control, Campagnolo reaffirmed her personal opposition to cruise missile testing in Canada. She acknowledged, however, that the testing of weapons under the umbrella agreement (induding the cruise) would continue if the Liberals are returned to power. Campagnolo went on to promise that all nuclear weapons would be out of Canada by 1985, and that the Liberals would reduce military spending once existing capital needs had been met.
John Fraser, who served in the Clark cabinet, was a last minute replacement for Pat Carney. Fraser stated that although he perspnally opposes cruise missile testing and supports a freeze, his party has made no decisions to do likewise. Fraser seemed to imply dissatisfaction with his party’s lack of policy on these vital issues, a party position complicated by the Conservatives refusal to release the report produced by former Prime Minister Joe Clark on disarmament. (See Dr. Donald Bates submission to the Clark commission in the April 1984 Issue of The Peace Ca/endar.) Fraser affirmed his party’s position to continue NATO involvement and ,substantially increase spending on conventional arms.
NDP External Affairs critic, Pauline Jewett, made a strong case for her party’s position in support of a freeze and against cruise testing. She was clearly the crowd’s favourite, pointing out inconsistencies in the policies of the other two parties. Her personal view was that the NDP should look at disarmament policy when deciding whether or not to support any future minority government. She called for full public disclosure or and parliamentary debate on all testing agreements, and advocated a more independent foreign and disarmament policy for Canada.
Throughout the debate, the three candidates clearly demonstrated their genuine personal commitment to nuclear disarmament. But the fact remains that the personal views of Campagnolo and Fraser contradict the policies of their parties.
What is clear is that disarmament is a political issue in this federal election due to the pressure of individuals and the Canadian peace movement.
anon — September 1984
LOS ANGELES – Four Canadians participated in the Fourth World Citizens’ Assembly held here from July 21 – 26.
The World Citizen’s Assembly, a gathering of global-minded representatives from many countries and organizations, first met in San Francisco in 1975, on the 30th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. Subsequent assemblies were held in Paris (in 1977) and in Tokyo (in 1980).
The major resolution endorsed by this year’s Assembly concerned the launching of a dynamic world-wide campaign to abolish war. All peace groups throughout the world will be requested to use the term ‘Abolish War’ (or variations thereof) on banners, in peace marches, on letterheads and in speeches.
Although Canadian plans for an ‘abolish war’ program are in the very early stages, information may be obtained from the Committee on the Abolition of War, 46 Elgin St., Suite 32, Ottawa, ON., KIP 5K6.
Bob Wilson — September 1984
On Wednesday August 8 Liberal Party President Iona Carnpagnola broke ranks with official Liberal policy by calling for a freeze on the nuclear arms race and a full parliamentary debate on the issue following the election. Despite both the overwhe1ming public support for a freeze, and the publicly stated positions of Iona Campagnolo, Jean Chretien and Lloyd Axworthy, on Wednesday August 15 Prime Minister John Turner carne out against the freeze, and indicated that his stand is “based on conviction and on the harsh realities of a complex international situation.”
The Conservatives do not support a freeze, while the New Democratic Party has advocated a freeze for several years.
(Note: Much of the following is either taken directly or paraphrased from an excellent article prepared by the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) for the Election Priorities Project.
Why is a freeze important now?
A bilateral nuclear freeze would call for “an immediate U.S. – Soviet hfilt in the production, and further deployment of nuclear weapons, missiles and delivery systems in a way that can be verified.” Despite widespread public support and growing political support in this country, Canada was one of just 12 nations who voted against a United Nations freeze resolution in December of 1983.
The CCIC offers two reasons why a nuclear freeze would be an important first step in the disarmament process: a) by stopping the emerging threat of firststrike weaponry; and b) by breaking the impasse that prevents major reductions in current stockpiles of nuclear weapons. A superpower freeze would stop the emergence of a new generation of ‘usable’ nuclear weapons which, if produced and deployed, would increase the threat of escalation from conventional war to nuclear war. A bilateral freeze would also save approximately $500 billion over the next decade which could be put back into meeting desperate human needs around the globe. Such prosperity would contribute greatly to world peace and justice.
Would the freeze give unfair advantage to the Soviets?
Of those people who reject the concept of a freeze, many cite assumed Soviet superiority in nuclear weapons as a reason. Conscious of this concern, U.S. Senator Charles Percy asked Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. if he would rather have at his disposal the U.S. nuclear arsenal or the Soviet nuclear arsenal. Weinberger replied, “I would not for a moment exchange anything because we have an immense edge in technology.”
Would the Soviets agree to a freeze?
Paul Warnke, the former chief U.S. arms control negotiator believes they would: “There is no reason to doubt that they are willing to agree to arms reduction, if we can negotiate something that’s clearly in the interest of both of us. And I think that’s clearly a matter of political will.”
The Soviets have in fact supported the freeze at the United Nations.
What about verification?
Successful disarmament agreements with the U.S.S.R. do not have to rely on the honesty of the Soviets. For, as former C.I.A. directors Herbert Scolville and William Colby have acknowledged, American intelligence could effectively monitor the Russians under such a comprehensive agreement. The freeze can be monitored by satellites, radar, and other means which both sides now possess and are now using to police the various arms agreements that have been adopted in the past.
This month’s suggestion is to write three letters. The first should go to lona Campagnolo, supporting her position on the freeze and urging her to follow through on her proposal for a full parliamentary debate. In addition ask that she work not only for a debate but also a free vote on the issue. (Copies of this letter can be sent to Chretien, Axworthy, Turner and Broadbent.) Secondly, write to Brian Mulroney urging the Conservatives to change their party policy and come out in favour of a freeze. Finally, write to your local mayor asking that a resolution be passed by city council asking the federal government to come out in support’ ofa freeze. (Kitchener City Council recently passed such a resolution by a vote of 8-2.)
The combination of hundreds of letters to the above people (in conjunction with the work of Operation Dismantle in lobbying for a freeze) could well result in one of the first major breakthroughs for the Canadian peace movement. Letters to Members of Parliament require no postage and can be addressed to: House of Commons, Ottawa, ON, KIA OA6. The address for your local mayor can be found in your telephone book.
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 area to write letters. Also, please send suggestions of individuals you would like to see targetted for letters.
Happy letter writing!
c/o Doug Mohr
301-103 Church St. Kitchener, ON N2G 2S3
Z. V. Stoyanovich — September 1984
Very few people in Canada are able to understand how intense the nuclear’ debate has become in Europe, or even the extent to which the American government has developed its plans for a limited nuclear war in the European theatre. This is, at least, the conclusion I reached after spending the month of July in Britain visiting some of the more prominent British and American nuclear bases and meeting with the people living in the adjoining peace camps.
Since NATO announced its twotrack deployment plans for Tomahawk Ground Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCMs) and Pershing II missiles in 1979, there has been a massive resurgence of protest against nuclear armaments throughout Europe.
In Britain, this has meant the reappearance of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), which had been dormant for more than fifteen years. It has also resulted in the establishment of permanent peace camps outside nuclear bases and the creation of many a peace activist. Groups with their own particular ideological perspectives, i.e., Christians, women, communists, ecologists, etc.
The first cruise missiles to be deployed in Britain arrived at the U.S. Air Force Base at Greenham Common (called ‘R.A.F. Greenham Common’ by the British Ministry of Defence to divert public attention) in November of 19R3. A second batch is expected at the U.S. Air Force at Molesworth early in 1986.
Although the British peace movement is by no means in total agreement about the most effective way to stop the continuing build-up of nuclear weaponry in their country, recently there has been a marked increase in the number of groups showing support for the use of non-violent direct action.
These non-violent actions range from traditional pressure tactics, . such as demonstrations, petitions and publicity, through acts of civil disobedience, including passive resistance and tax refusal, to nonviolent direct action, which may include blockades, fencecutting and effective damage to installations and weapons.
Although the larger popular peace groups, such as the CND and European Nuclear Disarmament (END) have contributed substantially toward the development and use of non-violent direct action.
The majority of these actions are currently being undertaken by activists living at the various peace camps, along with any support people available at the time.
One of the biggest of the more than 160 American military installations in Britain is U.S.A.F. Alconbury, home to Phantom and F5 fighter planes, and spyplanes, including SR7l Blackbirds.
Alconbury has recently been designated the control! support/maintenance for the U.S. . Air Force Base at Molesworth Although the British government has declared the base to be a ‘nonnuclear,’ low priority installation, activists from the Alconbury peace camp have spotted the familiar radiation warning signs inside the base.
Following a recent incident in which extensive damage was done to the landing lights on Alconbury’s runway, British police have launched a vicious attack on the residents of the Alconbury peace camp, staging a dawn raid, involving upwards of thirty police.
As a result of this raid, eight people have been charged with “conspiracy to commit criminal damage,’ although the police are unable to produce any concrete evidence implicating those charged.
‘Conspiracy’ is a charge that has not been used against peace campaigners since the infamous Wethersfield Six Trial of 1961-2, when six members of the ‘Committee of One Hundred’ (who organized the first non-violent direct action at the Royal Air Force Base at Wethersfield) were sentenced to several months impnsonment.
With the ‘Police Bill,’ which would give the British police extended powers over the public, before Parliament, and an increasing number of actions being staged across the country, the Thatcher government is showing signs that it may use cynical manipulation of criminal law to thwart protest.
Against this backdrop of stern opposition, peace activists in Britain are diligent in their struggle for peace in a Nuclear-Free Britain and are in need of support from all people in Canada who believe in the use of non-violent direct action against militarism.
Four of the main British peace camps can be contacted as follows:
- Alconbury Peace Camp, c/o 32 Tower Rd., Hereford, UK HR4 OLF.
- People’s Peace Camp, by Molesworth Air Force Base, Warren Lane, Fayway, Clopton, Nr. Ketering, UK
- Faselane Peace Camp, Below St. Andrew’s School, Shandon, Nr. Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, UK
- Women’s Peace Camp, opposite main gate, Greenham Common Air Force Base, nr. Newbury, UK.
Eudora Pendergrast — September 1984
OTTAWA – On Saturday August 11, the Ottawa Disarmament Coalition with the Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament (PAND) and other local groups co-sponsored “Peace in the Park.” An estimated 8,000 people attended the day-long music event, featuring Long John Baldry and L’Etranger, to kick off the Ottawa section of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign.
Prior to Long John Baldry’s first set, Ottawa Mayor Marion Dewar invited the audience to sign the petition, which she then signed herself on stage.
Organizers felt that the young crowd, which may have come primarily for the music, was made aware of the issues surrounding nuclear disarmament. Following the Mayor’s appeal the lines waiting to sign the petition grew dramatically.
The costs of the event, estimated at $12,000, were almost completely covered by the sale of T-shirts, buttons, food and beverages, as well by donations solicited throughout the day.
Organizers were pleased with the general success of the festival. It was felt that the main accomplishment was the bringing in of people from all walks of life, both young and old, to the park and exposing them to a great deal of disarmament and related information. During the day several festival goers expressed their willingness to become involved with the petitioning activities which are now about to begin in earnest in Ottawa.
Metta Spencer — September 1984
TORONTO – On August 16, the Against Cruise Testing (ACT) coalition released the results of a survey of Metropolitan Toronto candidates regarding their position on cruise missile testing in Canada and their commitment to disarmament.
Candidates in all ridings were asked to answer either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the statement “I oppose cruise missile testing in Canada if elected.”
According to the ACT survey press release, the double question was intended to determine the sincerity of any candidate who cIaimed that he or she would work for disarmament. As stated in this press release, ACf’s position is that “the candidates who responded ‘no’ to opposing the cruise but ‘yes’ to working for disarmament (are) blatant in their hypocrisy.”
Only five Liberal candidates and no Conservative candidates answered ‘yes’ to the double question. All New Democratic Party, Green Party and Communist Party candidates answered ‘yes.’
The five Liberals who opposed cruise testing were: Terry Kelly (Beaches), Ken Paige (Broadview Greenwood), David Weatherhead (Scarborough West), Jim Coutts (Spadina), and John Nunziata (York – South Weston).
It should be noted that the PC candidate for Spadina has changed his position. At an all-candidate meeting on disarmament, Ying Hope agreed with all thirteen questions of the Election Prioritie Project, which includes cancellation of the cruise missile testing agreement. According to the ACf sur vey, he now favours cruise testing,
More information about the survey and the specific responses of the candidates can be obtained from Bert Keser or Steve MacDonald at ACT’s office in Toronto xxx-xxxx.
Jon Spencer — September 1984
Prime Minister John Turner has appointed George Ignatieff as Canada’s Disarmament Ambassador. Previously held by Alan Beasley, the post had been vacant for about 10 months.
Mr. Ignatieff is an experienced diplomat, having previously served as Canada’s permanent representative to the NATO, and as Ambassador to the United Nations. At one time he was the President of the Security Council. at the U.N. He is now the Chancellor of the University of Toronto, and the, administrators of the university expect him to continue in that post while performing his new duties.
Mr. Ignatieff was attending meetings in Europe when his appointment was announced and could not be reached for comment. Mr. John Swift, of the Prime Minister’s .Office, said that Ignatieff will be spending a few weeks in Ottawa being briefed and then will divide much of his time between working in Ottawa and in New York at the United Nations. When asked whether Ignatieff might be replaced quickly if the Conservatives win the federal election, Swift explained that all ambassadorships are made by order in council. It ls unusual for such appointments to be terminated for political reasons, but it is possible.
Mr. Ignatieff has been semi-retired from public office in recent years, but has continued to support the United Nations by serving the U.N. Association in Canada, and by speaking continuously in favour of nuclear disarmament. He is an honourary patron of the Canadian Disarmament Information Service (CANDIS).
Peace activists have generally been delighted with the naming of George Ignatieff for this new role. As Dieter Heinrich of the World Federalists exclaimed, “Beautiful! When I think of some of the things that Ignatieff has done and said on the record, such as his opposition to the cruise, it makes me really hopeful.”
— September 1984
MP for the B.C. communities of New Westminster and Coquitlam since 1979, Pauline Jewett is also the New Democratic Party spokesperson for External Affairs and Post-Secondary Education.
In 1980-81, Jewett served as chair of the NDP’s lnternational Affairs Committee, of which she is still a member.
As a member of the House of Commons External Affairs and National Defense Committee, she played a leading role in the 1982 lvfinority Report on Security and Disarmament.
The following interview was conducted over the phone in midAugust while Jewett was campaigning in B.C.
The Peace Calendar: How important do you think the peace issue is to voters in this federal’ election?
Jewett: Well, a poll the other day I think said that over 80% of Canadians favoured a balanced verifiable freeze.
TPC: Do you think thelire willing to vote along those lines?
Jewett: It’s hard to say, because you have to put so much in one: X. I personally wish people: would, of course, as I think it’s such an overwhelmingly important matter that it should weigh very heavily in their X. However, there are a lot of other things that. do go into people’s Xs, and we only have the one X, so you really can’t say. But I wouldn’t be surprised if for some people it: was so overwhelmingly important. that, even if they haven’t voted’ New Democrat before, it may well mean that they will vote New Democrat this time.
TPC: Do you think the issue has gained prominence in the last couple of weeks or has it just been in people’s minds for the last year or so?
Jewett: Oh it’s been in people’s minds I think for the last couple of years, ever since we broke the story about the testing of the cruise missile. As far as Canada’s concerned, that was the touchstone issue. We broke the story in the House of Commons on May 10, 1982. For me, naturally there are other important turning points, but that was the major one. So its not just in the last weeks for most people.
TPC: Do you think Canadian popular support for disarmament issues has been primarily based on the cruise issue, or do you think the freeze has had a lot to do with it?
Jewett: I think the freeze has even more importance now than it did then, although in our Minority Report, we had all four points: no-First-use, nuclear freeze, refuse the cruise and disarmament education.
I would think, from a public point of view, that the cruise symbolizes (arms escalation) so vividly for us Canadians. You have probably found that our American and \‘1 est German friends never quite perceived this, since they had other things to symbolize the escalating arms race: deployment in \‘1 est Germany and Holland and so on. Although attention is still on the cruise since the government tested it, the public has turned more to the freeze. We would certainly want to give the year’s notice for revoking the cruise agreement. The part of the public that knew about the five continent proposal also thought that was a good idea.
TPC: What do you think the impact of the disarmament issue has been on the Liberal and Conservative parties during this election?
Jewett: I haven’t seen it at all on the Conservative Party. Joe Clark’s report has not surfaced. Joe Clark was the person chosen by Brian Mulroney to debate disarmament and foreign policy issues on The Journal, with (Jean) Chretien and myself. He was pulled at the last minute, and they put (John) Bosley in. I saw Joe the next day, actually, at the airport, and he said that Brian wanted to read his report carefully on this task force, and no doubt he did, but my understanding is that information will be in hand in a couple of weeks.
TPC: Why do you think Mulroney has refrained from making the report public?
Jewett: He doesn’t want the issue raised. Brian Mulroney doesn’t want to get into discussing any issue that might show division within his party. Apart from new uniforms, increased spending for the armed forces and giving Americans the benefit of the doubt, I don’t believe he’s said anything else about foreign policy. Now with the Liberals, we had a very big debate here (in Vancouver) on a television station and Iona (Campagnolo) came out for the freeze concept. And since then Chretien has come out for no-First-use, so clearly there is a restiveness in the Liberal ranks.
TPC: Do you think there is the same type of dissension within the Conservative Party?
Jewett: \Vell, there are people like John Fraser of course, (who participated) in the debate with Iona and myself, as well as Pat Carney. And, indeed, when we voted on the matter in the House, there were four Tories who voted against (the cruise) and only one Liberal. There are people in the Tory party, obviously, and some prominent ones, but they’re keeping pretty quiet. Mulroney’s keeping a lid on it, better than Turner did. Turner’s now put the lid back on, of course.
TPC: At the Vancouver debate, you indicated your personal feeling that the NDP should look at disarmament policy when deciding whether or not to support either of the other two federal parties in the event of a minority government…
Jewett: Yes, the press report on that wasn’t really that accurate. I don’t have it in front of me right’ now, but my memory’s pretty good on this. I said that, if there were a minority government, the New Democrats would certainly, in my view, give priority to issues that concerned a great number of Canadians. In other words, we wouldn’t take some narrow issue that concerns a few people who voted NDP, and insist on it. We would look at issues that had concerned a great number of Canadians, and (my very words were) we “would want to discuss those issues very seriously indeed” with whoever formed the government. And one of those issues would certainly be the escalating arms race.
TPC: You also said in Vancouver that Canada should pursue a more independent foreign and military policy. Specifically, in what areas do you feel we could act in a more independent manner?
Jewett: On the untying of ourselves from American strategic doctrine. Untying ourselves from the escalating arms race, by declining to both test the cruise or manufacture components of nuclear weapons. (We could also act more independently in) our policy in relation to Central America, and on the policy we would pursue at the United Nations, like this vote on the freeze. We could pursue policies like New Zealand’s, and we’ve beed advocating that for some time, this business of the nuclear warships.
TPC: Do you think that voting with American interests has manifested itself at conference such as the Stockholm Conference?
Jewett: Actually, there hasn’t been a vote at the Stockholm Conference. It’s a long way away yet form any votes I would think … At the moment, at least for the last several months, up until June, they were working on confidence-building measures, and I think Canada occasionally made an independent contribution — for instance, in verification. Generally speaking, we have had, in my view, an extremely low profile in NATO, and have not exerted what influence we could have had even there.
And indeed, people who are now looking into the (Canadian) record on arms control and NATO are pretty appalled at the degree to which we have not taken advantage of those occasions when other smaller countries within NATO were working toward a different policy than that being pursued, say, by the United States. And Canada didn’t even join in with them, the thing with the neutron bomb is a case in point.
And so one could give quite a few illustrations of Canada’s — what was it Mark MacCuigan called it in connection with Central America? — “quiet acquiescence.” That was our policy, quiet acquiescence in American policy.
TPC: The NDP opposes continued Canadian involvement in NA TO. Is this policy based on a principle of non-alignment, or because your party sees no hope for change from within the Alliance?
Jewett: Well, I think the policy of not being aligned with a military bloc has been in party policy now since the ’60s, as well as the objective of seeing a more fruitful role for Canada either with other like-minded nations and/or through the United Nations and its various institutions. I think the absence of a very strong voice in NATO is a factor, although the underlyinSb motivation is the military bldc mode.
TPC: Many people who support the NDF’s policy on arms control and disarmament issues disagree with your party’s policy on NATO. Last year, for example, Operation Dismantle called for a referendum on withdrawal from NA TO and on the cruise testing issue, in an attempt to determine whether Canadians linked the two issues. For the NDP, are these issues inseparable?
Jewett: No. In fact, the Liberals have badly deceived the Canadian public when they keep talking about cruise missile testing being necessary because of our alliance commitments. Cruise missile testing hasn’t anything to do with the NATO commitments, and as I say, they have been very dishonest when they keep saying that, in the government and elsewhere.
We do not think there is a linkage there at all. NATO’s an association of voluntary members who can determine the nature of their tole within NATO. If they decide, as Canada has decided for example, quite unilaterally in the past, to not have our troops armed with tactical nuclear weapons, so Canada could say “we’re not going to test cruise missiles either,” and still be a member of the alliance.
TPC: Does the NDP have a vision of an alternative dejense policy for Canada, not based on nuclear deterrence?
Jewett: Our defense policy is in two dimensions, really – national and international. We would clearly want to have a force that would be equipped and suitable for the kind of peacekeeping roles that we have played and that we undoubtedly will continue to play.
We also need a force that is capable of at least a modest surveillance of our own coast, and coastal waters – we have less, I think, than Holland has, in search and rescue, which comes under national defense – and the Arctic.
On the international scene, we would and have very strongly supported Canada’s participation in, and not just moral support for, but participation in a consortium of nations that would develop an international satellite monitoring agency. Those are the kinds of directions, both national and international, that we recommend.
TPC: In terms of domestic military policy, ij the NDP were to form the next government, what sorts of changes could Canadians expect? For example, are there aspects of Canada’s existing military resources which we could afford to give up?
Jewett: I don’t know how deeply the government is committed to the continuing purchase of the F-18A, but we never should have gotten into that. (It is) not suitable for either our NATO commitments or our North American ones. As I say, I don’t know if one could give notice on that contract or not, but if one could, we would. I’m not sure even that the frigate programme was in the best interest of Canada, or of Canada’s international obligations.
We would certainly, if we formed the government, do a very comprehensive study of what we are now doing in defense, and what it needed. This hasn’t been done, of course, since the unification.
TPC: As you mentioned, New Zealand’s recently-elected Labour government has said it will not allow US nuclear warships in its waters. How do you think the US is likely to respond to this decision?
Jewett: Well, I don’t think they’ll attack New Zealand, as a reporter commented the other day. I think New Zealand’s behaving in what I call a “mature state-to-state relationship” with the United States, something Canada has never done, and I think the United States will respond in a mature state-to-state fashion. It will try, obviously, to work out some agreement if it can which would satisfy New Zealand. There will be negotiations. It will no longer be taken for granted that (the US) can do what it wishes; there may have to be amendments to the ANZUS treaty.
TPC: Do you think the US is likely to impose trade sanctions on New Zealand, in response to this decision?
Jewett: I would doubt that they would. My guess is that the United States is rocked back on its heels, and would use diplomatic means, at least initially.
TPC: Several times, I’ve heard politicians or political scientists suggest that Canada’s acquiescence in regard to the cruise missile testing may be partly based on a fear of economic retaliation from the US. Do you think that’s a reality?
Jewett: No, I don’t see as much linkage there as a lot of people do, in reality, because Canada has for years now been deeply and increasingly involved in defense production contracts. The reality is that it doesn’t want to give up its own share of the American defense budget, so much so that it’s put itself in the position of almost having to do whatever the Americans ask on defense matters, and I hope it hasn’t gone so far that it can’t be undone, a bit. If there’s a linkage, I think that’s where the linkage is.
TPC: What about the 1963 rider on the Defense Production Sharing Agreement (DPSA) which requires Canada to import as much as we export?
Jewett: Well, it’s a terrific incentive for defense manufacturers in Canada to build up their contribution even more. Ernie Regehr’s got a very good analysis of this, which you’ve probably seen. Also, as Regehr points out, it doesn’t provide for very efficient employment strategies. He estimates that the jobs for the light armoured vehicles (contract) that General Motors Canada got, if you take into account both the grants and the import offset, cost $60,000 per person-year to create. Anyway, no, I think it’s the old vicious circle: the more you do, the more you get, the more you do. I’ve always felt that there was a tie-in with things like the F-18A and the cruise missile testing, maybe not explicit, but it’s there.
TPC: Liberal MP Paul McRae, in an interview in last month’s issue of The Peace Calendar, indicated his strong support for the middle power peace initiative, which was an attempt to include non-aligned nations in the negotiation process. John Turner has recently sent a letter to the Secretary-General of the UN in an attempt to follow up on Trudeau’s suggestion of a conference of the five nuclear nations. These are two very different approaches to the problems inherent in arms negotiations. Which of these two approaches do you see as having the greatest chance of S1lCcess?
Jewett: The five continent appeal which Trudeau declined to join, was an appeal for a nuclear freeze, on the part of all nuclear powers.
TPC: Do you think that’s why he didn’t support it?
Jewett: Yes, because he’s opposed to the freeze. As I read the call of the five-continent group, theirs was a call for the five nations having nuclear weaponry to get together. Turner is saying, as Trudeau did, why doesn’t the Secretary-General call the five of them together. The end is the same. In one case it’s the six nations, one of whom is a memBer of NATO – Greece – and in the other case it’s the SecretaryGeneral, and they’re both directed to the same end, which is to get the five nuclear powers around a table.
I think that’s a worthy objective, but at the time Trudeau first suggested it, it seemed to me most unlikely that Britain, France and China – and particularly China – would go in for that particular kind of summit until the two huge superpowers, who have 95 % of the nuclear arsenal, showed some willingness themselves to freeze and then get into massive reductions.
Although I think the two separate calls for a five-nation summit have some value, I don’t think it is as important at the moment, nor did I at the time Trudeau first suggested it, as getting the US and the USSR together. Now, if it served the purpose of getting them together, then of course it was very valuable.
TPC: Do you think it will have any success in that area?
tt: It might. I don’t know. A lot depends on the leadership of the two superpowers, and on what happens after the US election.
TPC: On March 6th, the date of the first cruise missile test, you said it was a “dark day of Canadian history”…
Jewett: That was the day they signed the agreement. Well, they were both dark days, if you ask me. Anyway…
TPC: Anyway, do you foresee any “darker days” – any weapons likely to be tested under the CANUS umbrella agreement which are more dangerous or destabilizing?
Jewett: Of course the US defense department has already phased out the cruise missile that we’re testing, and is phasing in the cruise with what they call “stealth” technology. Presumably, we might be asked to test that.
TPC: Do you think that’s a more destabilizing weapon that the cruise?
Jewett: I don’t know how much more destabilizing it could be than the present cruise, although my reading in Scientific American and other learned journals on the matter suggests that it really would seal the possibility of verification of numbers and locations, in which case it becomes totally destabilizing. Arms in space, offensive or defensive, are terribly destabilizing. (Minister of Defense Jean-Jacques) Blais sounded the other day ‘- he shut up quite quickly – but he sounded as if he wanted Canada more involved in the militarization of space. And that’s very frightening.
TPC: Do you think Canada will be playing a role in that department?
Jewett: Well, I trust not. I know Blais wasn’t speaking for the government, because I asked.
Chretien that night before we went on The Journal. Chretien didn’t know anything about it, and he’s the Chairman of the External Affairs and Defense Committee of the Cabinet. I don’t know – I’m very nervous about both the Liberals and Tories when it comes to these matters. I don’t think there’s much to choose. Scary.
TPC: Earlier this year, I heard several people state that popular opposition to the cruise tests arose too late to achieve a victory. In the interest of ‘being prepared,’ are there political situations on the horizon, either nationally or internationally, on which you think the peace movement could have an impact?
Jewett: Yes, the Comprehensive Test Ban, the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the militarization of space. It’s hard to know which…. They’re all important. The peace movement will continue probably to work and press for the freeze and massive reductions for some time, I would think. But we can’t foresee, particularly as far as the Canadian peace movement is concerned, what a Canadian government might get us involved in next that will then become “the issue.” Then there is this proposal of Jean-Jacques Blais’, which, if the House were assembled, I would be asking about. The other difficulty is that neither the Liberals nor the Tories ask many questions in the House on these issues. Even Tories that were anticruise never questioned it in the House.
TPC: As an “insider” in the government, how do you think the peace movement can best influence government policy?
Jewett: I think the movement should be at everv all-candidates meeting, trying to get a personal commitment from the candidates, and then holding them to it. And I don’t know that that has been organized sufficiently this time. I know that it’s difficult, but it seems to me that that is extremely important. And I’ve been saying that for the last year, you know, get ready for the next federal election, get to all-candidates meetings, raise the issues, or have an all-candidates meeting solely on these issues. And that hasn’t been done nearly as much as I’d hoped it would be.
TPC: What about between elections?
Jewett: Between elections, continue the telegrams, letters, petitions, marches and conferences the “Megadeath Manitoba” type of conference. And once the make-up of the next Parliament is established, approach individual Members – just a kind of continuing presence like that is absolutelyessential.
Robert Penner — September 1984
Pedal for Peace are a group of cyclists who are travelling to Ottawa as part of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign. They left Vancouver August 24 and will arrive in Ottawa on October 10.
They are visiting communities along the way and gathering signatures for the Peace Petition.
For more information, 604-xxx-xxxx or xxx-xxxx or xxx-xxxx.
The following is the pedal for Peace itinerary for September:
- - 1 Stoney Creek (80 km)
- - 2 Golden (68 km)
- - 3 Banff (135 km)
- - 4 Banff stay-over
- - 5 Calgary (130 km)
- - 6 Bassano (141 km)
- - 7 Suffield (133 km)
- - 8 McCoy & Maple Creek (128 km)
- - 9 Swift Current (120 km)
- - 10 Chaplin (82 km)
- - 11 Moose Jaw (92 km)
- - 12 Moose Jaw stay-over
- - 13 Indian Head (140 km)
- - 14 Moosonin (132 km)
- - 15 Brandon (142 km)
- - 16 Portage la Prairie (126 km)
- - 17 Winnipeg (119 km)
- - 18 Winnipeg stay-over
- - 19 Falcon Lake (140 km)
- - 20 Kenora (98 km)
- - 21 Vermilion Bay (102 km)
- - 22 Thunder Bay (115 km)
- - 23 Nipigon (114 km)
- - 24 Nipigon stay-over
- - 25 Schreiber (100 km)
- - 26 Marathon (95 km)
- - 27 White River (85 km)
- - 28 Wawa (90 km)
- - 29 Montreal River (106 km)
- - 30 Sault Ste. Marie (117 km)
Amy Kaler — September 1984
Two recent surveys of the composition and motivations of the participants in last year’s October 22 disarmament protests have been completed. The results of these surveys provide insights into the still largely undefined Canadian peace movement.
One survey was undertaken by research associates Kim Killeen and Michael Pearson of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs (CIIA). According to Killeen, this survey “was a response to the problem of stereotypes we saw in the course of our research into the peace movement.” In the course of their survey, Killeen and Pearson found “that those stereotypes were not credible.”
The second survey was conducted by the Toronto Disarmament Network (TDN). According to organizer Wendy Wright, the survey “was undertaken in order to understand who was coming and why they came, in order to help with future organizing.”
The CIIA survey was conducted in person by interviewers who asked 23 open-ended questions at the October 22, 1983, marches in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver. 326 respondents provided the data to be analyzed.
The TDN surveyed by mail 140 respondents whose names were gathered in various ways during the Toronto demonstration.
Although survey methods differed, the results of the two surveys were generally consistent in those areas where questions overlapped.
Both surveys found that the demonstrators were primarily middle class. The CIIA survey showed that 28 % of the demonstrators were professionals and 31 % students. 9% were skilled technicians. Only 7% were employed in the clerical and sales fields, and 4% were labourers.
The TDN survey showed that, at the Toronto demonstration, 38% were professionals, 25% were students, 5% worked in the sales and clerical fields. None of those surveyed were labourers. Although not specifically asked, 4% of the respondents mentioned trade union involvement of one form or another.
Of interest to the TDN survey organizers was the source cited as .providing the first information about the event. The most frequently cited source of information about the rally was friends (34%). This was closely followed by media at 28%, posters at 25% and involvement in the peace movement at 21 %.
The CIIA survey gave almost identical results in response to a similar question about what brought people to the October 22 events.
In the CIIA survey, one third of the respondents had been to two or fewer disarmament demonstrations, and 13% had never been to any. The TDN survey found that 35% were attending a disarmament event for the first time.
The two surveys are not necessarily inconsistent on this point, as the averaging of results from five different cities could have lowered the CIIA results somewhat, particularly since some cities did not organize as heavily for the October 22 events as the TDN did, and were therefore more likely to reach the “veterans” of the peace movement.
Of those attending their first demonstration in the Toronto area, over half had never before been involved in any other kind of social change movement. There were also some interesting differences between “novices” and the wider body of those surveyed.
First-timers cited the influence of friends and the media (rather than peace movement literature) is the reason for attending at a rate over 1/3 higher than those who had attended previous demonstrations.
About the demonstration itself, new people were also about twice as likely to comment favourably on the orderliness and organization of the demonstration, perhaps revealing the negative preconceptions nondemonstrators have of protest marches.
Unlike the TDN survey, the CIIA questionnaire also focussed on the political opinions of those in attendance. In a summary of their findings, the CIIA researchers identify some interesting trends among the demonstrators. When asked which issues were of most importance to them, relatively few demonstrators mentioned the cruise missile. Only one in five mentioned it at all, and only some of these suggested it was a priority concern.
For most protestors surveyed, it seemed probable that the cruise was perhaps at most just a symbol of a wider problem,” Killeen and Pearson say in their analysis. They note that most respondents cited a more general concern about the issues of nuclear weapons and nuclear war, despite the united anti-cruise focus of demonstrations held across Canada on that day.
When asked what concerned them most about cruise testing, 39% said that it compromises Canadian policy, and 37% were opposed to the tests because the new missile would escalate the arms race. A much smaller percentage suggested that the cruise was not easily verifiable, thus making arms control agreements more difficult, or that it was a first-strike weapon.
One of the myths contradicted by the CIIA survey is the charge that the peace movement is pro-Soviet, and preoccupied with criticizing the US and not the USSR. Over 70% of the respondents said that both the Soviet Union and the United States were equally to blame for the failure of CUITent anns negotiations. “While more people believed that the U.S. was the problem (20%) than believed the Soviets were (2%), these proportions are small by comparison to the 70% majority.”
Interestingly, the CIIA also found that 50% of its respondents thought that the Canadian military was too large, compared to a total of 40% for the people who felt that the existing level of military forces was satisfactory or insufficient.
According to Killeen and Pearson, this finding suggests that those who argue that Canada could have more in fluence in halting the nuclear arms race by beefing up its conventional role could have a difficult time advancing that position in the peace movement of today.
The TDN survey also included the question “What would you say were the strengths and weaknesses of the rally?”
The most common positive comments given in response to this question referred to the quality of organization (20%), followed by the turnout (14%) and the programme of the rally (8%). The negative comment which occurred most frequently was the length of the rally (8%) and displeasure with the route of the march (5%).
It is interesting to note the diversity of opinioQs represented in such a survey as well as the common trends. For example, 8% objected to the division of the marchers into categories (i.e. church, labour, etc.), while 4% mentioned this as a positive aspect. The comments were equally divided pro and con among those who chose to mention the quality of the speeches.
The CIIA and TDN surveys represent modest attempts to understand the growing Canadian peace movement. Understanding the movement is a key challenge to those involved in it. Feedback from the more peripherally involved can be viewed as a way of expanding the democratic processes to include the opinions and participation of all those who hope this movement reo resents them.
Andrew Van Velzen — September 1984
Are peace and profit compatible?
Yes, says Geoffrey Bennun, the creator, promoter, organizer and fundraiser for the Dove for Peace Foundation, and whose raison d’are is the creation of the Canadian Peace Award.
This award, which Bennun hopes will be a reality as early as 1986, would be given to the individual considered to have contributed the most to world disarmament during the past year. It would consist of a $200,000 scholarship in the winner’s name for two or three students from the winner’s country to attend school in Canada.
Bennun is enlisting the support of the Canadian business community.
“I offer businesses a comfortable way to show support for the peace movement – no demonstrations or posters. We all know money talks, but the peace movement refers to the business community as an enemy.”
Bennun’s vision of “changing things” includes Canadian Peace Award representation at major entertainment events such as the Super Bowl and the Olympics. Even now, CN Hotels across Canada are using cocktail napkins with the Dove for Peace logo and information about the Canadian Peace Award.
Most of Bennun’s support has come from the hotel industry in which he worked for many years. He believes the hotel industry is the logical target for corporate fundraising – tourism and peace go together, he says, and hotel profits depend on peace.
Next month, Bennun’s foundation plans a benefit lunch for the leaders of the hotel industry, through which he hopes to raise a substantial part of the fifty to one hundred thousand dollars needed to implement his plan. Until that money is raised, however, the foundation will operate on a volunteer basis.
A strong nationalist element exists in Bennun’s proposal. “The peace award is a patriotic way for Canadian people to register their desire for peace in the eyes of the world. Everyone’s heard of the Nobel Prize, but nobody knows what Scandinavian nation it comes from. “
Bennun’s intention is for the Canadian people to vote in a referendum-like format for the recipients of the award. The foundation’s selection committee, chaired by Kevin Doyle of Maclean’s magazine, would reduce an initial list of 10-12 possible candidates to two or three, whose qualifications for the award would then be widely publicized. Bennun declined to mention any individuals he would consider suitable candidates, but mentioned the Belfast women who received the Nobel Peace Prize a couple of years ago as “the type – ordinary people who have decided to do something.’ ,
Bennun’s contacts with other elements in the Canadian peace movement have been limited and not especially productive, due to what he perceives as the peace movement’s alienation from much of Canadian society.
“A lot of people don’t like demonstrations and posters, but support peace. I hope that someday “peacenik” can also mean someone in a three-piece suit.”
— September 1984
TORONTO – The Cruise Missile Conversion Project marked the 39th anniversary of the August 9th bombing of Nagasaki with a day of remembrance and resistance at Litton Systems Industries in Rexdale. (Litton manufactures the guidance system for the cruise missile.)
Over 50 people took part in the commemoration, including 23 who were involved in the civil disobedience action. The day started with a procession to Litton, followed by a commemoration service at the main gates which ended with the placement of wreaths and tombstones against the fence of the plant.
On the tombstones were the names of Asian countries and islands that had suffered through wars since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “We wanted to remember not only the victims of Nagasaki, but all the others who have died in Asia as the result of incessant warfare since the end of World War II,” said Dan Anstett, one of those involved in the civil disobedience action.
Anstett pointed out that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not the only time that nuclear weapons have been used in Asia. “They have been used, like a gun pointed at someone’s head, to threaten,” said Anstett, and he cited Korea and Vietnam as occasions when the U.S. actually threatened to use nuclear weapons.
The protestors also wanted to remember those who died as a result of testing in the Pacific.
Shortly after the commemoration service, 23 people began a blockade of the main gates, which caused quite a traffic snarl as the morning shift began to come in. After about 30 minutes police arrested all 23 and charged them with mischief.
The 50 non-violent demonstrators were met by well over 100 police.
One of the protestors, Paula Rochman of the Cruise Missile Conversion Project (CMCP), suggested that the police are cooperating with Litton to discourage the demonstrations.
“It has been demonstrated repeatedly,” Rochman said, “that Litton is working directly with the police to stop our non-violent demonstrations.” According to Rochman, the police arrested the wrong people.
“We were arrested for interfering with the lawful use of property,” she said, “but is the guidance sytem for a first strike destabilizing nuclear weapon lawful? Certainly not. It violates moral and international law, we have also tried to show how it violates Canadian law.”
In addition to the arrests, the police followed people as they left the demonstration, barricaded the police station to prevent supporters from going inside, and arrested three people for unpaid fines, two of whom elected to stay in jail rather than pay their fines.
A bail condition that they could not go back to Litton was imposed on all of the demonstrators, an action which many people felt was a violation of their rights. Eleven people stayed in the Metro West Detention Centre overnight rather than sign the bail conditions. The bail conditions were dropped for the women the following morning, but, despite an attempt by the group’s lawyer, Charles Roach, bail conditions were not dropped for the men. Further court action is planned on the restrictive condition.
Trial dates are planned for December 4 and 10, 1984.
The Nagasaki action was supported by 10 people from Covenant for Peace, a Michigan-based peace group who are working to oppose the production of cruise missile engines at Williams International in Walled Lake, Michigan.
— September 1984
The Peace Petition Caravan will leave Victoria and St. John’s on September 29th to arrive in Ottawa on October 20th. The two charts below cover PPCC events from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2nd. The rest of the October Schedule will be printed in the October Issue of The Peace Calendar.
St. John’s to Ottawa
- Sat. Sept. 29 – St. John’s – Caravan leaves early in the morning. For all
- Newfoundland events contact: Sally Davis at xxx-xxxx or xxx-xxxx.
- Clarenville – Lunch.
- Gander – 1 hour in the afternoon.
- Grand Falls – evening.
- Sun. Sept. 30 – Cornerbrook – afternoon.
- Stephenville – dinner.
- Port Aux Basque – event and midnight ferry (6 hour passage. Adult, $9.95. Child. (5-12), $4.95. 4 berth cabin, $46, Vehicles, $30.
- Mon. Oct. I – North Sydney .: 6 am, meet ferry and breakfast event.
- Contact: Rev. Pat Jamieson, xxx-xxxx or Rev. Howard Clark,xxx-xxxx.
- Port Hawkesbury – Lunch. Contact: Shirley Hartery, xxx-xxxx.
- Antigonish – 3 pm. press conference. Contact: Barbara Hayes, xxx-xxxx.
- New Glasgow – evening. Contact: Tony Law, xxx-xxxx.
- Tues. Oct. 2 – Truro
lunch. Contact: Allan Marshbank, -662-2079—>xxx-xxxx. Halifax – evening. Contact: Suellen Bradfield, xxx-xxxx. Subsidiary caravans from Lunenburg, Wolfville, South Shore to join at Halifax.
Victoria to Ottawa
- before Sept. 29 – Vancouver Island rallies in various communities. Contact: Louise Beijk, xxx-xxxx.
- Sat. Sept. 29 – Victoria – Celebrate the Caravan kick-off! Contact: Ann Gower, xxx-xxxx.
- Sun. Sept. 30 – Nanalmo to Vancouver by ferry. Evening event. Contact: John Broderick, xxx-xxxx.
- Kamloops – subsidiary caravan to meet in Vernon for Oct. I. Use Vernon contacts.
- Mon. Oct. 1 – Penticton – Lunch (No contact yet.)
- Vernon – evening event. Contact: Jim Foord, xxx-xxxx or Peter Drabiuk, xxx-xxxx.
- Subsidiary caravan – Medicine Hat, Swift Current, Moose Jaw to Regina for Oct. 6.
- Tues. Oct. 2 – Calgary – evening event. Contact: Eleanor Curry, xxx-xxxx.
- Subsidiary from Rimbey to Red Deer on Oct. 3.
Clive Russell — September 1984
Edited by Mary Vrantsidls
- About 45 peace petition signatures were obtained at a Peace Information and Bake sale booth at the Elmvale Flea Market in late July. The Barrie Ploughshares group put it on. Passersby were lured by a delicious display of muffins and cookies and found their attention being drawn to pamphlets, buttons and the Petition. Signers were from Toronto, Hamilton, London and from as far away as Montreal and Rochester, New York.
- Physicians for Social Responsibility has begun to organize in Barrie, Ontario, led by Drs. Brian Morris, Fred Smith and Peter Dalziel. So far, their main concern has been educating themselves on peace issues and helping Ploughshares Barrie with the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign. For information call Peter Dalziel at 416-xxx-xxxx.
- On September 12th, 250 women leaders from across the U.S. will meet on Capitol Hill in Washington for the first National Women’s Conference to Prevent Nuclear War. Actress Joanne Woodward is the chairperson for the conference. She and her husband Paul Newman have worked for the anti-nuke and peace issue for over a decade. The purpose of the all-female conference is to gain visibility for women and underscore their role iri ending the nuclear arms race and to create a strong conviction among all U.S. women that this is a top priority on their personal agendas. For more information write to the conference organizers at 600 Maryland Ave. S.W., 303 Capitol Gallery West, Washington, D.C., 20024.
- Here’s a great little Christmas gift idea: … the Lakeland Coalition for Nuclear Awareness (that’s in Alberta) will once again be putting out their Calendar for Peace. It’ll be available Oct. 1. Wendy Tredger and her husband (the editors) say it takes a lot of time and creative energy, but the warm response makes it all worthwhile. They hope this year to beef up their contacts with Eastern Canadian small peace towns. Write for your copy to Lakeland Coalition for Nuclear Awareness, c/o Wendy Tredger, La Corey, AB., TOA 2EO.
- About 350 names have been. stitched for the Rainbow Banner Peace Project. It’s been designed to produce a strong, visible statement for Peace and Disarmament. People’s names are embroidered on patches and sewn together to form a huge cloth petition banner. You can participate by either sending in the names of people you care about or you can help with the embroidery. Contact Judith Wolfe, McDonald’s Corners, ON., KOG 1MO. Rainbow buttons are available for $2.
- The dream of a cross Canada Peace Petition Caravan Campaign has become reality. Over 40 communities nationwide have committed themselves to celebrating the arrival of the Caravan with media attention and an event. Please keep the central organizing committee informed of your activities for the Caravan. The kick off date is Saturday, September 29 from Victoria and St. John’s. It’s due to arrive in Ottawa, Friday October 19th. Cross Canada support rallies will take place October 20th. Billets, food, vehicles, funds, are all needed. ThePPCC Schedule can be found beside ‘Peace Network News’ in this issue of The Peace Calendar and will be continued in October. Keep in touch by contacting Lynn Connell, for the Caravan Committee, 342 Queen St. W., Toronto, ON., M5V 2A2, xxx-xxxx.
- The Toronto Disarmament Network is developing a mass phone tree which is hoped to reach thousands of people each month with information on major peace activities and emergency responses. You can help by making 5 calls a month or simply including yourself on the list to be called. Contact TDN if interested at xxx-xxxx or write c/o 736 Bathurst St., Toronto, M5S 2R4.
- Women and Peace will be one of the 14 workshops at the Ontario NDP Caucus’s “Women’s Equality” Conference. It’ll be held Saturday, October 27 from 9 am to 4 pm at the University of Toronto Medical Sciences Auditorium. Daycare and a lunch are provided with the $15 registration fee. Single parents and the unemployed can get a reduced rate. Sister Rosalie Bertell, Margaret Hancock and Laura Pascoe will speak.
- Betty Mardiros of the Edmonton Voice of Women reports their Nagasaki Day event was very successful. Close to 200 people were on hand at Knox United Church. A two-minute silence was observed and a woman spoke of her experiences in Japan during the war. The group proceeded down to the River carrying lit candles. Flowers and peace cranes were thrown into the river.
- The Nanoose Peace Camp in B.C. at the Nanoose Bay Naval Base is still open, hopefully until the end of September. Spirits are high and some of the participants feel hopeful about the possibility of shutting down the Naval Base by 1986 when the agreement expires. ‘
- More and more rural communities across Canada are forming peace groups. The southwestern Ontario town of Bolton has just formed a ‘Citizens for Peace’ group.
- September 29th will be the first annual national Children’s Anti-War Day. Activities in cities and, towns across Canada will focus on a fund-raising walk-a-thon. To find out what’s involved, and how you can raise money for your group or project with this event, write to War Toys Boycott Campaign, 730 Bathurst St., Toronto, ON., M5R 2S4, or call 416-xxx-xxxx.
- The Election Priorities Project of CCIC has committees polling candidates in 150 ridings.
- Planning Committees have begun to organize events for Oct. 20 in several cities. Edmonton is forming a coordinating committee. In Montreal the PPCC, the Quebec Coalition and several other groups have formed a 9 person committee to organize a human chain demonstration and march on Oct. 20. The various member groups will have plenty of freedom to express thdr special concerns in this pluralistic coordinating system.
- The Cruise Missile Conversion Project is hiring someone to work on the Military Toys Boycott Campaign in Metro Toronto. $1200 for 4 – 6 weeks, late September to November. We hope that the person will continue to work on the campaign as a volunteer until Christmas. Hiring decision will be made on September 13. For a copy of the job description call CMCP, xxx-xxxx or xxx-xxxx.
Derek Rasmussen — September 1984
In the West Buddhism is often regarded as a reclusive or selfindulgent fad, and thus far, Buddhists here have very little to show beyond their own communities.
But Buddhism in North America is relatively young, dating in a meaningful way from the widespread interest in Zen in the 196Os. Since then, teachers have emphasized the need for solid grounding in meditation practice, and for thorough familiarity with the patterns of one’s own neurosis and one’s basic goodness and capacity for clarity. TIlls individual practice, according to Buddhism, is the basis for compassion and for social action which cuts through rather than recreates in another form, the cycle of suffering.
Several recent events in Toromo’s Buddhist community illustrate the nature of Buddhist social action as it relates to peace and the development of peace in the world.
Wesak, the annual celebration of birth, enlightenment and passing into nirvana of the Buddha, was recently held at OISE, with all of the Buddhist centres and ethnic groups participating. The keynote speaker was the Rev. Karl G. Springer, North American representative on the United Nations Committee to restore Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha.
Lumbini is in Nepal, which has been declared by its government a zone of peace. The Lumbini project was conceived by former Sc:cretary General U Thant, himself a Buddhist. It is supported by donations from Buddhists throughout the world, from governments and from the U.N. The project involves construction of an international peace conference centre as well as the historical restorations and pilgrimage facilities.
While he was in Toronto, the Rev. Springer also gave a talk at the Dharmadhatu meditation centre, in which he outlined Buddha’s teachings on peace. In particular he described the structure of ego — the process by which we create and attempt to maintain territory. Buddhism teaches that this process is the basis of all conflict and suffering, that it is an habitual process, subtle and complex, manifested not only in personal psychology but in political! economic systems as well.
Buddhism, which describes the path traced through these complexities by the Buddha (Awakened One), Gautama Shakyamuni, and by innumerable others, is a specific methodology for letting go of personal territory. Buddhism is not a philosophy and not really a religion (it is non-theistic), but rather a practice, a discipline and an aa:ord with the world.
Buddhism could be described as “deep ecology” – appreciation and respect on a deeply experiential level for this sacred world and its interrelatedness of living! non-living things. Several articles in the recent newsletter of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship (BPF) explore this ecologic of Buddhism.
BPF was formed originally in California by poet Gary Snyder and others as a forum and vehicle for Buddhists to work together for peace. There are chapters throughout North America and overseas and recently a chapter has been formed in Toronto.
The Spring edition of the Zen Lotus Society publication Spring Wind was devoted to the subject “Buddhism and Peace.” It includes articles by members of the Society on their personal journeys through the peace movements of the last twenty years, and articles on how traditional Buddhist societies of Korea dealt with war and invasion.
In May a Buddhist-Christian dialogue on social action was held at York University. A paper presented by Dr. Reginald Ray of Naropa Institute pointed out that Buddhism has always taken on a particular form and character from the cultures in which it has flourished, but its strength has always been in the root system of strong individual meditation practice. In the west this root system has been developed and small shoots of external activity are beginning to appear. The peace movement can look forward to growth of a fruitful relationship with the Buddhist community.
A transcript of the talk by Rev. Karl Springer is available from Clive Russell, xxx-xxxx.
The “Buddhism and Peace” issue of Spring Wind is available from Zen Buddhist Temple, 46 Gwynne Ave., Toronto, M6K 2C3, xxx-xxxx, and the Buddhist Peace Fellowship Newsletter is available from BPF, Box 4650, Ihkdey, CA 947Ot, USA (For information on the Toronto chapter of BPF, call Karen Harrison, xxx-xxxx.)
A list of Buddhist Meditation Centres in Toronto is available from. the Buddhist Council of Canada, c!o Dharmadhatu, 555 Bloor St. W., M5S lY6, xxx-xxxx.
— September 1984
Technological innovation in areas such as microelectonics and artificial intelligence has revolutionized the arms industry. In the words of one US General, “War is getting very lethal.” In this special report, an Ottawa researcher explores the frightening implications of these “not-sa-conventional” weapons, and explains why they are no cure for the nuclear arms race.
“It isn’t God, but it’s pretty close to it.”
— Canadian Major Duffy McCallum on the new $20 million high-tech test range at Cold Lake, Alberta
Hyped as the answer to the West’s nuclear “dependence,” new high-tech “conventional” weapons are beginning to roll off assembly lines and into US and NATO arsenals. With the destructive potential of three to four kiloton nuclear bombs, these so-called “conventional” weapons increase both the likelihood of nuclear war and of American interventions in the Third World. Worst of all, some members of the disarmament movement are embracing these new weapons as a “lesser evil” and as a cure for the nuclear arms race.
More weapons systems than weapons, these new “smart” devices are armed with dozens and often hundreds of high explosive mini-warheads connected to complex arrays of. sensors, communication links, targeting and delivery systems, and computerized “brains.”
While these new weapons are based on existing Western advances in microelectronics and computers, the United States is banking on future advances in biotechnology, artificial intelligence, large space structures and other areas to give it the lead in “ET” systems. (“ET” is the acronym coined by cynical minds in the Pentagon for “emerging technologies;” people-killing devices which will not be available until the 199Os.)
“Smart” weapons became popular in the 1970s, first drawing attention in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war when Egyptian soldiers carrying portable wire-guided missiles destroyed many Israeli tanks. (Smart weapons had been used previously in the Vietnam war with little notice, with the exception of the infamous “McNamara Wall,” a fence of bombs, computers and sensors between North and South Vietnam, which killed as many or more refugees and civilians than it did guerrillas.)
These early smart weapons and their closest offspring, Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs), led to the motto “if you can see the target, you can kill it.”
Although techological advances were made in their production, such as the move from wire-guided to TV- and laser-guided bombs, all were susceptible to bad weather. What the new high-tech weapons will offer is a third generation of PGMs whose sensors use microwaves, millimetre waves and other forms of radiation to make them all-weather capable. With these new “fire and forget” weapons, the motto becomes “even if you can’t see the target, you can kill it.”
The real turning point for smart weapons was the Israeli invasion of Lebanon where the Israelis used small pilotless aircraft called Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPVs). Equipped with TV cameras and sensors, the RPVs were used to get instant pictures of battlefields, or even of particular intersections in the city of Beirut, and then guided PGMs straight to their targets.
Stocks in electronic warfare companies shot up and their executives were ecstatic. “Star Wars of the future is what it’s all about,” said Bernard Schwartz, chairman and CEO of Loral (one of the US high-tech firms which supplied Israel). “The lessons of Lebanon will dominate military thinking for the next ten years.”
The soon-to-be-available hightech “conventional” weapons will be even more “impressive.” In the new US Apache AH64 attack helicopter, movements in the pilot’s cornea (while he watches a target) are measured by a laser and used to guide missiles to the target. The Apache will carry 16 laser-guided Hellfire missiles, 76 rockets, or 1,200 rounds for its 30mm cannon, and it will be the first helicopter with night vision and all-weather capability. The cost? $74 billion for 572 helicopters. And much of the advanced electronics and instrumentation inside the Apache will be made by Canadian Marconi Company of Montreal.
The long list of high-tech “conventional” weapons systems is mind-boggling, with names like W AAM, BOSS, and “Incredible Hulk.” Here are a few highlights:
Assault Breaker. One of the Reagan Administration’s three top-priority armaments, along with the MX missile and the B-1 bomber, Assault Breaker belongs to the “standoff” group of weapons, weapons with longer ranges and greater destructiveness than PGMs. It will be loaded with “smart” submunitions (small, highly explosive charges) and advanced guidance systems and sensors, and will seek targets deep in enemy territory after being fired from a safe distance (100-200 km).
Fuel.Air Explosives (F AEs). FAEs dispense a cloud of highly volatile fuel which, when ignited, can produce atmospheric overpressures similar to those developed by nuclear weapons. Even a near-miss can sink an aircraft carrier or level entire city blocks. An advanced version, F AE2, is now being developed by the Pentagon.
Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS). A MLRS can fire its 12 rockets in less than one minute, scattering 8,000 submunitions (each with the power of a hand grenade) over an area as big as six football fields. MLRS rockets loaded with “Skeet” sub munitions have been favourably compared with low-yield nuclear weapons.
The Pentagon’s head of NATO affairs, Frank Cevasco, described the MLRS this way:
(Each MLRS. rocket could have) 6. terminally guided missiles, four inches in diameter, two feet long. The things fly out over a pattern — they hunt, they scan, they do basic signal processing decision-making: “is this a real target?” They run a series of computational checks. If a determination is made that it’s a target or a probable target, then they go down and kill it. From the top, where it’s softer.
We don’t steer it. We don’t look through an eyepiece. We put it out there and it finds the target itself; if we’re smart enough to know to point it, then it takes over, you lose control.
Interestingly enough, Cevasco’s enthusiastic description of the MLRS was made at a high-tech conference and trade show in Ottawa this May, where Cevasco said that the US wants Canada to help produce the new “smart” weaponry.
The conference, the second in two years, was organized by the Canadian Advanced Technology Association (CATA), representing over 150 Canadian firms, and the National Security Industrial Association (NSIA), whose membership list – Boeing, Control Data, IBM, Lockheed, Litton, United Technologies, etc. – reads like a Who’s Who of top American war contractors. The US government has shown a lot of interest in these conferences – more than its Canadian counterpart sending up planeloads of top Pentagon officials and scientists.
The parade of top brass has included the two most prominent proponents of the new weaponry: Dr. Richard DeLauer, head of Research and Engineering for the Defense Department, and James P Wade, Jr., his principal deputy. Canada, they say, is a “stable,” secure neighbour which can be trusted with secret military R&D, the only country whose war industry is considered to be part of the US military-industrial base. “Our nations have,” as James Wade noted, “for all practical purposes, joined together in a North American defense industry base. “
This apparently unprecedented attention to a specific area 01 Canadian industry can be explained by a glance at the Pentagon’s budget: 50 cents of every dollar goes for electronics in weapons and communications.
The US wants NATO – and Canada in particular – to share the cost of researching, developing and producing the “guts” of the new ET and high-tech weapons.
Many Canadian companies are already involved in work on the new high-tech weapons. Garret Microcircuits (Rexdale, Ontario), for example, is making electronics for the AMRAAM advanced airto-air missile and for the “Wasp” mini-missile. Croven Crystals (Whitby) is supplying crystals for the Phalanx air-defense gun which automatically tracks and destroys enemy missiles using uranium core bullets. And Computing Devices of Ottawa is supplying the targeting computer for the US Army’s new main battle tank, the AbramsXM-l.
Of the Pentagon’s “Big Seventeen” list of ETs, Canadian companies or government departments have interest or expertise in 14, including optoelectronics, ‘space’ nuclear power, large space structures (Canada is being touted as the “space repairman of the future”), short wavelength lasers, machine intelligence, microprocessor-based learning aids, space-based radar (Canada’s Radarsat satellite is to be 25% funded by the US), high power microwave generators, and very high speed integrated circuits.
Canadian companies repeatedly point out that none of this equipment actually kills people. It’s just communications equipment, sensors, satellites or computers – all lumped together under the military term C3I, or Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence. As Pentagon officials point out, ‘fists’ are useless without ‘eyes’ and ‘brains.’ Moreover, the Reagan Administration has recently given C3I equal priority with armaments, with the most important C3I system being the NAVSTAR satellite Global Positioning System (GPS), to be completed in 1987.
Grenada notwithstanding, polls show that the American public is still “suffering” from an unwillingness to support long, drawn-out high casualty US wars in Third World countries. Thus, the shift from labour-intensive battles to capital-intensive high-tech weapons for fighting quick, brutal wars.
Second, the new smart weapons systems promise a way out of the dilemma of “horizontal arms proliferation.” Lt.-Col. William T. McLarty, head of Combat Vehicle Technology for the US Army, puts the problem this way: “Third World countries are increasingly acquiring substantial combat power. Within arm’s reach, however,” he adds, “are solutions (which) involve the application of technological innovations that were, until recently, more the purview of science fiction writers than military planners.’ These solutions are the new smart weapons systems.
Third, and finally, the smart weaponry responds to the problem posed by the nuclear disarmament movement and the Euromissile controversy; the possibility of restrictions on the use of the nuclear weapons which have been used to keep the USSR at bay and as a back-up to American interventionist forces. In response to the peace movement’s concern that Europe could become a nuclear battleground, new weapons enthusiasts say that the ET and hightech weapons will raise the nuclear threshhold in Europe and lessen the chances of all-out nuclear war.
This claim has persuaded many influential voices in the “peace” and nuclear freeze movements, including the Union of Concerned Scientists and the US Democratic Party, to support the new weaponry. As well, Robert McNamara, late of “McNamara’s Wall” fame (but now a dove), praises the new weaponry because it will do with conventional weapons what previously had required nuclear munitions.”
The new high-tech weapons, however, will increase, not reduce, the chances of nuclear war, and the assertion that they will raise the nuclear threshhold in Europe is wrong on a number of counts:
- Many of the new weapons will use delivery vehicles common to nuclear weapons (e.g. cruise, Trident, Lance and Pershing II missiles). Soviet forces are unlikely to hold back their nukes while waiting to see if missiles fired at them have conventional or nuclear warheads.
- The deadliness, or killing power, or the new high-tech weapons verges on 3-4 kilotons, thus blurring the distinction between conventional and nuclear weapons, and lowering inhibitions on the use of nukes.
- The temptation to add nuclear warheads to the high-tech weapons has already proven too great to resist. Proponents of the new systems were shocked to learn last November that Lawrence Livermore Labs had already tested a nuclear warhead for the Assault, Breaker.
- Finally, new military doctrines (Air Land Battle, Strike Deep and the Rogers Plan) which accompany these new conventional weapons all insist that they can be used successfully only in combination with nuclear weapons.
The issue of the European nuclear threshhold aside, however, the new high-tech conventional weapons are not really intended for use in the European theatre at all. Certainly it’s hoped that with a few of them in Europe some steam might be knocked out of the peace movement, but their real usefulness if elsewhere.
As Eisenhower’s chief of staff, Nathan B. Twining, said in reference to battlefield nukes (another weapon which was claimed as necessary for the European theatre but used elsewhere), “If employed once or twice on the right targets… (tactical nuclear weapons) would stop current aggression and stop future subversion… Congos, Cubas, Vietnams and the like.”
Pentagon planners have the same purpose in mind for the new high-tech… conventional..w.eapons and their chemical and nuclear “reinforcements.” The official adoption of the Air Land Battle doctrine was preceded in 1981 by the Air Land Battle and Corps 86 Study conceived for Europe, the Middle East and Korea. However, the wider geographical focus was hushed up before the doctrine reached its final form.
The Air Land Battle 2000, an official Army concept but not yet doctrine, assumes a high-tech, virtually automated battlefield by the year 2000. It calls for NATO to look “southeastwards,” where dependence on Middle East oil is called a threat to Central Europe of “equal importance” to the threat of Warsaw Pact attack.
Finally, a Pentagon study called Air Force 2000, which was leaked to the Reuters press wire service, warns that “the US is much more apt to be drawn into wars involving Third World nations than into a war in Europe, where combat with Soviet forces is not likely in this century.” The most likely battleground, the report says, is “the area plus or minus 30 degrees from the equator. For exampie,… war in the Middle East is virtually inevitable.”
Obviously, as these reports and doctrines indicate, the US sees new high-tech conventional weapons as a means of policing its empire without giving rise to domestic resistance; so justifying these weapons as a non-nuclear defense against the Warsaw Pact is a red herring.
And given the terrible destructiveness of the new weapons and the nuclear tripwire they represent, any claims that they are the “lesser evil” or are any more humane should be exposed for the lies they are.
Non-nuclear war is changing beyond all recognition. It is hardly “conventional” any more.
Derek Rasmussen is a researcher for the Ottawa Microtechnology Group and is writing a book on the Ottawa high-tech industry.
Send your letters to the Editorial Board, CANDIS, 736 Bathurst St., Toronto ON, M5S 2R4.
— September 1984
Release P.C. report
Hey, everybody, let’s force the PCs to release Joe Clark’s report on disarmament. Call Mulroney’s office and insist that they disclose the recommendations of that investigation Clark carried out. I hear he favours a semi-freeze. The time to deal with that is during the election (campaign).
A legitimate issue
This letter is in response to the Forum article written by AI Rycroft in the July 1984 issue of The Peace Calendar. It is not being written as a criticism of the positions on the disarmament movement taken by Mr. Rycroft, but should be viewed as another perspective on the health and development of the nuclear disarmament movement in Canada.
It is my impression that Mr. Rycroft views the movement of the peace issue into the mainstream of political debate in Canada in a negative light. Indeed, it would seem that he attributes the motive of co-optation to those who have developed a recent interest in peace. In Mr. Rycroft’s article, these agents of cooptation would seem to include Joe Clark, Pierre Trudeau, the new Peace Institute, Mayor Harcourt, Conrad Black, John Lamb’s Institute in Ottawa, and Bill Bennett. Mr. Rycroft seems to be saying that these people have adopted their newly found interest in peace because it has become fashionable and has been registering in the polls as an issue of concern to the Canadian public. That is one way of viewing this matter. However, there is another.
These people mentioned by Mr. Rycroft, have indeed identified the peace issue as one of great concern to the Canadian public and have responded to this concern with attention and different levels of symbolic or tangible activity.
~What this development clearly demonstrates is that peace is a legitimate issue, worthy of extensive debate in the House of Commons, and of appropriations that reflecf the level of concern of this nation’s politicians.
That. is not to say that there is not some level of political expediency in these developments, but to focus upon this negative element is essentially a sterile and unproductive exercise. What must be seized is the initiative. The issue of nuclear disarmament has been legitimized, not co-opted.
It is time to use the very legitimacy of the issue which has been bestowed by mainstream Canada to bring about real change. Acts that are clearly illegal will not aid the cause. Nothing would push the peace issue back into the fringe of agitation politics more than civil disobedience and tax refusals. Political legitimation would evaporate under such circumstances and the nuclear disarmament movement would suffer as a whole.
We should never let frustration engendered by the slow progress of change push the nuclear disarmament issue into activity that would clearly de-legitimize it from the mainstream of Canadian mass political activity.
Research Assistant, Former aide to Paul McRae M.P.
I feel forced to respond to the letter “The Smartest Move” in The Peace Calendar’s August issue. The letter may have caused considerable confusion for some readers due to the obvious confusion of the writer. Moreover, although I strongly favour open political debate within the peace movement, anonymous slander clearly does not fall into this category.
Upon appraisal, the “criticisms” directed against ACT boil down to only three items: I – we have held a die-in; 2 – we have engaged in street theatre; and 3 – we allow teenagers in our demonstration (who of course dress as they please).
The first two points I will deal with as briefly as possible. ACT is a very active organization. In fact, we have either sponsored or co-sponsored every major peace denonstration which has taken place in Toronto for the last 20 months (with the exception of the August 6 Litton action). This means nine demonstrations, the smallest of which attracted xxx-xxxx people and the largest two of which were both in the 25-30,000 range.
In addition, we have organized countless symbolic actions – street theatre, die-ins, nemorial services at the cenotaph, pickets, etc. We also run a peace coffeehouse every Friday night and our educational activities nclude weekly forums, high-school assemblies, the recently finished candidate survey, film showings, etc. In other words, our activities reflect the diversity of the component.s within ACT itself. Both die-ins and street .heatre are time-honoured traditions and I see no indication that we have turned any of the public “off.”
As to the third criticism, ACT is proud of its large youth component and of the two youth and high school groups within the coalition. Young people are very concerned about their future and I am glad to see them In demonstrations. I would never presume to tell them how to dress.
To the writer of the letter I would like to say just this: If you are too ashamed for what you are saying to attach your name to it, perhaps you would be better off not saying it at all. But please, if you have any sincere criticisms or suggestions, I speak for ACT in saying we would love to discuss them. I will sign my name without embarrassment and with peaceful intentions.
Angela Browning, Chairperson
Against Cruise Testing coalition
I’d like to respond to some of the points raised in the letter “The Smartest Move” (TPC, August 1984).
In a city where, to be public about expressing a commitment to peace, one traditionally had the choice of either periodic marches or civil disobedience, the Against Cruise Testing coalition has shown that weekly speakouts, death marches and die-ins allow an increase in militancy for those individuals who are no longer satisfied with parades, but who do not wish to risk a criminal record. These symbolic forms of protest increase the profile of the peace movement as a whole yet show a unique form of commitment which should not be dismissed.
I am surprised at the criticism of the fact that some parade marshalls and participants do not dress in semi-formal apparel. ACT’s ability to attract to the peace movement those who are alienated by the political process should be applauded, not condemned. Changing society from one of intolerance to one that encourages individuals and diversity is essential in the building of a less violent society.
All methods of increasing the size and effectiveness of the peace movement should be encouraged. If ACT is to be attacked for alienating some segments of society, people that are unlikely to become active in peace work, someone will soon find similar reasons to attack civil disobedience campaigns as alienating, boycotts as alienating, even demonstrations as alienating. All forms of social protest alienate some and attract others. Let us accept the tactics of others and concentrate on working with tactics we find comfortable.
Official or not?
Re: The Need to Clarify the Status of the Soviet Peace Committee: Government run or not?
Although I realize that The Peace Calendar wishes to retain an independent editorial position and to provide a forum for views, I think it is only right to differentiate between unbiased news items and opinions.
I refer particularly to the article “Youth learn about Soviet peace work” (July 84). That article appears to maintain that the Soviet Peace Committee and other officially supported peace organizations are organized and run independently from the government and the communist party. There is some question as to whether this is true. In The Soviet Union Today (Ed. James Cracraft, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 1983) Joshua Rubenstein of Amnesty International states:
“The double issue of peace and nuclear war has been revived in recent years as a prominent aspect of Soviet foreign policy. The official campaign is designed, it would seem, to improve the Soviet Union’s image abroad, particularly in Western Europe. The authorities have organized rallies and set up a nationwide peace organization using them as vehicles to oppose Western deployment of nuclear weapons and to applaud the peaceful intentions of the Kremlin. “
Is this true or not?
Someone or some information organization in Canada must research this without ideological bias so that when we speak with the Soviet Peace Committee we’ll know whether we are speaking with representatives of Soviet government or with some independent organization.
I believe Science for Peace was going to attempt this project at one time. Did it ever get off the ground?
Anyone can reply to me at the address below.
Peter M. Wade
Box 783, Fort Qu’ Appelle
SK, SOG ISO
— September 1984
The need for some type of national coordinating body for the Canadian peace movement has become obvious. The relatively uncoordinated ‘Refuse the Cruise’ campaigns, the difficulties encountered in initiating the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign, the lack of a united response to the establishment of the new Peace Institute, the absence of a clearly defined election strategy, and confusion in the media and government about who speaks for the peace movement in Canada have all reduced our potential effectiveness, as both a mass movement and political force.
A number of major problems have inhibited the formation of such a national coordinating body in Canada. These problems must be understood and worked out in time. What is important now is that we begin the process.
An obvious obstacle in the formation of a national coordinating body in Canada is geography. The vast distances between different regions make personal contact, the most effective means of coordination, very expensive and difficult. There is a natural tendency for power and decisionmaking to become concentrated in Central Canada, as in the case of the Canadian Committee of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign.
Another related difficulty is that there are a very limited number of major centres to serve as ‘meeting places’ in Canada. This fact means that events or annual conferences held in a centre such as Toronto or Vancouver tend to be dominated by peace activists from those cities.
Another major obstacle to the formation of a national coordinating body is the tremendous diversity in the nature, scope and size of the many organizations supporting disarmament in Canada. Some examples of the different types of organization include:
(1) coalitions-in major cities; (2) smaller groups within major cities, most of which belong to the city’s coalition; (3) organizations in smaller towns; (4) regional networks (such as Vancouver Island Network for Disarmament, Coalition quebecoise pour Ie desarmement et la paix); (5) national organizations (Operation Dismantle, Project Ploughshares); (6) sector organizations (Canadian Labour Congress, National Action Committee on the Status of Women, United Church Peace Network); (7) political parties; and (8) professional groups (Science for Peace, Physicians for Social Responsibility). It is difficult to envision how such a variety of different organizations could be integrated within a single formal structure.
As well as a diversity in the types of organizations, there will undoubtedly also be differences in the degree of commitment to a national body. Some organizations may be very enthusiastic and be willing to become formally associated, while others may prefer a more observerlike role with no formal commitment. These points suggest that an unstructured national coordinating body, possibly centered around an annual general meeting, would be preferable to a formal coalition or a monolithic organization, such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), a mass movement and political force.
A number of major problems have in hibited the formation of such a nationa coordinating body in Canada. These pro blems must be understood and worked ou in time. What is important now is tha’ we begin the process.
An obvious obstacle in the formation 01 a national coordinating body in Canad< is geography. The vast distances betweer different regions make personal contact, the most effective means of coordination, very expensive and difficult. There is ana. tural tendency for power and decisionmaking to become concentrated in Central Canada, as in the case of the Canadiar Committee of the Peace Petition Caravar Campaign.
Another related difficulty is that there are a very limited number of major centres to serve as ‘meeting places’ in Canada. This fact means that events or annual conferences held in a centre such as Toronto or Vancouver tend to be dominated by peace activists from those cities.
Another major obstacle to the formation of a national coordinating body is the tremendous diversity in the nature, scope and size of the many organizations supporting disarmament in Canada. Some examples of the different types of organization include: (1) coalitions in major cities; (2) smaller groups within major cities, most of which belong to the city’s coalition; (3) organizations in smaller towns; (4) regional networks (such as Vancouver Island Network for Disarmament, Coalition quebecoise pour Ie desarmement et la paix); (5) national organizations (Operation Dismantle, Project Ploughshares); (6) sector organizations (Canadian Labour Congress, National Action Committee on the Status of Women, United Church Peace Network); (7) political parties; and (8) professional groups (Science for Peace, Physicians for Social Responsibility). It is difficult to envision how such a variety of different organizations could be integrated within a single formal structure.
As well as a diversity in the types of organizations, there will undoubtedly also be differences in the degree of commitment to a national body. Some organizations may be very enthusiastic and be willing to become formally associated, while others may prefer a more observerlike role with no formal commitment. These points suggest that an unstructured national coordinating body, possibly centered around an annual general meeting, would be preferable to a formal coalition or a monolithic organization, such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in Europe.
It will, however, be necessary to have a minimal amount of structure, so that there is some process for making decisions, designating spokespersons, and financing travel costs and other expenses. However, structure should be kept to a minimum and care must be taken to ensure openness and maintain equal representation in terms of both geography and gender.
The primary function of the national coordinating body should be t’O organize and coordinate major national campaigns that require, for their success, the participation of all peace-supporting organizations. The nature and direction of these campaigns should be decided by a consensus of the broadest collection of organizations possible. Other campaigns and activities should be left to existing groups. Care must be taken that the activities of the national coordinating committee do not interfere with or replace the very important organizations and activities that already exist.
A secondary function of a national coordinating body would be to provide a means of communication among groups across the country (such as War Toys Campaign, or a campaign against military research.) The coordinating body and its meetings could also be a forum for exchanging ideas, suggestions and opinions among different groups.
Although the formation of a national coordinating body is important, we must not neglect the difficult and ongoing task of building and maintaining local and regional coalitions, and sector peace networks. A national coordinating body will not represent the peace movement per se, it will only be part of it. Its spokespersons cannot speak for the movement as a whole, they can only speak for specific campaigns and projects.
The process of forming a national coordinating body will be long and difficult, and will require considerable discussion, thought, compromise, patience and creative problem-solving. However, the difficulty of the path we face should not deter us from beginning the process. Our first step should be to agree to hold an annual general meeting open to all organizations willing to participate.
A next step may be to agree to a national program or platform. I would suggest that such a program should consist of the following three points:
- cancelling cruise missile testing!
- declaring Canada a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, and;
- supporting a bilateral U.S. /Soviet freeze.
These three points fit together like the parts of a jigsaw puzzle, and the omission of anyone of them would be a serious tactical and strategic error. Together they provide a natural, comprehensive and attractive package to offer the Canadian public.
Matthew Clark (reviewer) — September 1984
The Against Cruise Testing coalition, the organization which has led the struggle against the Canadian government’s decision to permit the U.S. military to test the cruise missile in our air space, protests the actions of the Soviet government in recently arresting approximately fifty members of the Moscow Trust Group. We are outraged that this violent act has prevented the group from commemorating the holocausts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and we hope that this does not indicate that the Soviet authorities are seeking to prohibit all independent peace activities.
We are very concerned over the critical world situation. The ongoing arms race, the proliferation of nuclear weapon technologies, and, especially, the escalating cold war clearly demonstrate that, unless we establish a just and lasting peace, it will only be a matter of time before the atomic clock irrevocable strikes twelve. At the same time, the militaristic attitudes which have been spreading and hardening within the nuclear power blocs of both East and West are making the work of peace activists everywhere much more difficult. But the peace which we must achieve can only be established after people everywhere have won the right to challenge their respective government’s military policies.
It is for this reason that our organization was formed, and it is for this reason that hundreds of thousands of Canadians have taken to the streets in protest against cruise testing.
It is for the very same reason that we now call on the government of the Soviet Union to:
1. Immediately release all members of the Moscow Trust Group.
2. Cease all harassment of independent peace groups in general.
3. Respect the right of all individuals to freely speak, associate, organize and act for peace and disarmament, independently of any governmental, or quasi-governmental control.
The Against Cruise Testing (ACT) coalition
— September 1984
Freeman Dyson, Harper and Row, New York, 1984. Hardcover.
Freeman Dyson has one foot in the world of the military — he works as a technical advisor for the U.S. Department of Defense — and one foot in the world of the peace movement — he works with the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament in Princeton, New Jersey. These two worlds, Dyson says, do not understand each other.
“The military establishment looks on the peace movement as a collection of ignorant people meddling in
while the peace movement looks on the military establishment as a collection of misguided people protected by bureaucratic formality from all contact with human realities. “
The argument about nuclear weapons, says Dyson, “remains sterile and disjointed because the two sides lack a common language.” Weapons and Hope is an attempt to provide that common language.
It’s easy to criticize this book. I doubt that Dyson has found that common language he desires. I also doubt that many on either side, after reading Weapons and Hope, will come to understand the other. (Even should this understanding’ occur, of course, the disagreements are likely to remain profound.)
Dyson’s presentation has many gaps. “The chapters of the book,” he says, “hang together as pieces of a broad panorama rather than as links in a logical chain of argument. “
But Dyson’s panorama is quite limited in scope. Although he is interested in history (primarily of the two world wars), he says little about the history of the cold war. he also concentrates on the East/West conflict, and virtually ignores the North/South problem.
Weapons and Hope, then is neither an argument, nor a panorama, some aspects of the nuclear arms race, some of which are enlightening, and some of which are not. I think it would be a mistake to dismiss the book too quickly; although it has some faults, it has many virtues.
In particular, Dyson poses a number of questions which the peace movement must address if it is to move beyond protest and opposition towards the formation of positive alternatives. He asks, for example, “Do we wish to make weapons more destructive and less usable, or less destructive and more usable? “
This question will be increasingly important, as governments move to build up conventional arms as a substitute for nuclear weapons. Is that course acceptable to the peace movement? Or can we reject the question, with its hidden assumption that only two options are possible?
I can’t always agree with the answers Dyson suggests — he is too much of the military world for my liking. But the value of a question often lies not in the answer proposed, but in the critical thinking process initiated. In these terms Weapons and Hope is a book worth reading.
Lynn Harrison (reviewer) — September 1984
Directed by John Milius. Written by Milius and Kevin Reynolds, distributed by MGM/UA.
Reviewed by Ed Silva
Almost everyone in the Canadian peace movement will hear about Red Dawn, and almost everyone in the movement should go see the movie. It is an important film to see and talk about with friends and neighbours, for it offers us one of Ronald Reagan’s favourite fantasies. And since the acting is good and the action fast-paced, we get to see in fairly fully realized fashion how some right-wing American movie-makers think a ‘limited nuclear war’ might go.
The story is charming. Three small-town, middle-American teenagers drive their 4×4 to school one Monday morning, hamming it up about the football team’s loss that weekend. Then, during their history class, red dawn: invading Soviet-bloc paratroopers drop from the skies. It is World War III.
But, although atomic weapons have been used by the Soviets to “knock out all our key silos,” the nuclear exchange is limited (for reasons never made clear in the movie.) By movie magic, the ‘day after,’ which we know will happen after any such use of atomic weapons, vanishes. Accordingly, this movie does not show us the unimaginable vaporization of millions of men, women and children, followed by the uncountable slower and more painful deaths of the survivors as society falls apart, and ‘nuclear winter’ sets in.
Instead, the three high school boys and some of their friends dash up to the countryside, becoming “freedom fighters.” As American guerillas, they manage to frustrate and humiliate the Red invaders, until after several months, the technologically superior professionals overwhelm the young patriots. But, as the closing scene shows us, the Americans eventually win WW III, putting up a monument to the teenage partisans.
Of course, the overall charm of the movie is marred here and there. For example, Canadians (who know how closely our fate is tied to the United States) will be surprised that our country is only mentioned in passing; as part of the route taken by Soviet forces into the States. And again, those who realise how deeply the U.S. government is involved in the undeclared invasion of Nicaragua will smile at the irony of the Nicaraguans being part of the Soviet-bloc forces invading middle America. Still, such warts do not really hurt the movie’s essential appeal.
Basically Red Dawn is the rightwing answer to The Day After. It shows us that the next world war is winnable, if we have the courage to put up with the level of personal pain and social disorder experienced the last time around. Since we all know that this is a truly impossible dream, the well-publicized and wellmade Red Dawn provides us with a wonderful opportunity to show people the real perils that face us. World War III will set in motion tens of thousands of nuclear weapons, beginning a nightmare from which none of us will awake. Teenage freedom fighters will not save us or themselves. What will save us — and them — is what has saved us all for four decades; the continuous efforls of the world-wide peace movement.
Let’s tell our friends and neighbours what’s wrong with Red Dawn, the idea of ‘limited nuclear war,’ and the fundamental weakness of defending ourselves with weapons that destroy us.
John Pendergrast (reviewer) — September 1984
Marc Ian Barasch, Dell Publishing Co. Inc., New York, 1983. Paperback, 107 pages, $4.95.
“It may not do much for your peace of mind, but it will send you off to the apocalypse with a knowing smile.”
Having read this teaser on the back cover of The Little Black Book of Atomic War by Marc Ian Barasch, I doubted my review would be a song of praise. I was right.
Barasch has compiled a pseudofunny pocketbook of nuclear trivia divided into sections with clever titles like “Emily Postwar’s Etiquette.” The result is not very funny at all.
Even if his intention was to coax a little laughter from the tears, I found the author’s approach inappropriate. For example, he reports on the sterility of one-fifth of male high-school students after atomic testing near a Utah city with the headline: “Problem of Teenage Pregnancy Eased.”
It doesn’t take long for quips like these to create a sick feeling in the pit of the stomach. If the sickened response stayed with the reader, the results might be beneficial. But the effect of page after page of this questionable humour is simply numbing, not enlightening.
Barasch has crammed plenty of facts into his book, and although he says that all came from ‘official U.S. government sources,’ many lack more specific references. The absence of credible sources for incredible stories could raise doubts about the authenticity of the information. In addition, cutesy paraphrasing diminishes the strength even of those facts whose authenticity is not in question.
Barasch includes portions of government relocation plans, distributed during the 1960’s, advising that in the event of crisis evacuation: “… living conditions would be austere, but remember, it will only be temporary, so be patient and cooperate.”
A quote from one U.S. Senator in 1952 reads, “the bombing of Hiroshima was the greatest event in world history since the birth of Jesus Christ. “
There’s something perversely comforting about The Little Black Book of Atomic War — as if it’s all made up. So many horrifying facts put within a humourous context are quite de-sensitizing — making the reader comfortable with the unacceptable.
“The last laugh on the war to end them all?” Personally, I’m waiting for the board game.
Mary Kaldor. Abacus, by Sphere Books Ltd., London, 1983. Paperback, 239 pages. $6.95.
Sometimes the arms race seems to be nothing more than a massive boondoggle, and the Russian threat nothing more than a convenient justification for the self-enrichment of the weapons makers.
In The Baroque Arsenal, however, Mary Kaldor paints a rather more complicated picture. For one thing, although it consumes vast amounts of government money, weapons manufacturing does not generate massive profits. In fact, the arms manufacturers hold the government in thrall through their particular manufacturing sector’s financial precariousness, not through its economic vitality.
Present-day arms manufacturing is, according to Kaldor, based on the technology of the automotive and aircraft industries, technology that has passed its economic prime and is being supported, at tremendous cost to the economy, by the government.
Citing Joseph Schumpeter and Nikolai Kondratieff, Kaldor argues that capitalist economies develop in “long waves,” each wave associated with a new technology. As each technology develops, it goes through three different stages of product and process development.
The first stage consists of rapid product development, as with automobiles early in the century, airplanes in the 1920’s, and computers in the 1970’s.
In the second stage, once basic product innovations have been completed, process innovation becomes dominant, as manufacturers seek cheaper, more efficient means of production. This second stage represents the crests of the technological wave, as prices come down and distribution expands.
In the third and final stage, manufacturing and distribution processes have become more or less standardized, and competition now occurs through product differentiation. Product development in this period tends to drive up prices without significantly improving the product. As markets approach saturation, excess manufacturing capacity becomes a problem. This, plus the expense of product innovation in the context of an already established manufacturing process, tends to reduce profits within the sector.
As one technological wave subsides, another wave rises, and normally resources are shifted from the dying wave to the rising one. When for one reason or another this does not occur, product development continues, but in ever more bizarre and non-functional ways, and the products become ‘baroque.’ This, Kaldor argues, is what has happened in arms manufacturing.
During wartime, certain kinds of weapons prove effective, and the capacity to manufacture these weapons is therefore enormously expanded. Afterwards, reduced arms expenditures produce a critical degree of over-capacity in the very sectors which are credited with having won the war. Rather than face the loss of a vital national resource, the government begins to place new orders.
Once begun, the process cannot easily be stopped. Not only does the government find itself spending more and more money in order to preserve an artificially large arms manufacturing capacity, but the capacity preserved is that required to re-fight the past war. Tanks and aircraft won World War II; therefore tanks and aircraft continue to be the dominant forms of weaponry. These weapons are becoming increasingly anachronistic and ineffective, even as their technological sophistication re,aches dizzying heights.
The pernicious effects of the deficits generated by the current over-expenditure by government are becoming increasingly obvious. Ms. Kaldor’s contribution is to point out that over-expenditure on armaments in particular tends not only to depress the economy but to warp its shape and prevent its natural development.
The arms manufacturing capacity of the automotive and aeronautical sectors so carefully preserved after World War II in the name of national security would by now have been superseded without government intervention.
With the armaments sector overexpanded and financially weak” and with the government the only major customer, competition among arms manufacturers and designers is fier. ceo The military, however, tends to be conservative — the weapons it appreciates are like those that won World War II, and the performance characteristics it wants improved are the ones found valuable in that war.
The arms manufacturers are thus forced into the kind of product innovation associated with the last stages of a dying technology. Marginal improvements are made at an increasingly marginal cost. Weapons become more sophisticated, versatile and complex — the weapons system becomes the dominant form of armament. With increasing complexity, the cost of the system also increases, with the consequence that governments can afford fewer and fewer different systems, and therefore each system becomes even more complex in an attempt to serve different purposes.
Kaldor cites the case of the MultiRole Combat Aircraft, the MRCA Tornado, called by Helmut Schmidt “the greatest technological project since the birth of Christ.” Too expensive for any single European nation to produce on its own, the Tornado was a collaboration by Britain, Germany and Italy. Each country however, had different demands of the plane, and the resulting compromise has satisfied no one. The same applies to U.S. planes designed to serve both the Air Force and the Navy.
Increasing complexity requires elaborate logistics, creating, int he terminology of weapons systems, a longer and longer “tail” in proportion to the “teeth.” Increased complexity also means a higher failure rate. The helicopters sent to rescue the American hostages in Iran, for instance, had a mean time between failures that was less than the time required to fly from their carrier to the landing site, so that their failure in Iran was not really surprising.
The parts and skilled personnel required for these complex weapons systems are in notoriously short supply — many weapons systems are more often than not unready to perform at any given time. Vietnam, Kaldor states, showed that baroque weaponry, while extremely destructive, is not militarily effective.
Recently much has been heard of Precision Guided Munitions (PGM’s), the most famous of which is the cruise missile. These arornaments are based on new electronics technology, and unlike the baroque weaponry produced by the automotive and aeronautic sectors are cheap and easy to mass produce. Do they represent an escape from the cycle of baroque weaponry?
Kaldor is skeptical. A PGM-based military strategy .. amounts to a repudiation of the present organization of the armed forces,” and in periods of peace, organizational inertia tends to take precedence over military effectiveness. Further, if the baroque nature of modern weaponry is indeed the consequence of the relationship of the arms industry to government, the same dynamic will sooner or later affect any kind of weapon.
Kaldor also points out that while the United States is presently a leader in the production of microchips, it is Japan which is moving most quickly to capitalize on their potential economic benefits, for the simple reason that American interest in microcircuitry is so heavily military. Thus the development of the current wave of technology is already being distorted by the demands of the arms industry.
Behind the distortion of technological waves demonstrated in The Baroque Arsenal lurks the old choice between guns and butter. It is certainly true that the prolonged allegiance in the Western world to the military thinking of World War II no longer makes either military or economic sense. However, the really important fact is that military needs, even if intelligently supplied, are different from civilian needs. A guidance system for a cruise missile . is not useful to control a robot on an assembly line. The organization required to customize a weapons system for the Pentagon is not the same as the organization required to mass produce and market a consumer item. Attempts by weapons manufacturers to diversify into the civilian market have thus had very limited success.
The Baroque Arsenal shows in more detail than can be indicated in a review just how the armaments process occurs in the West and the Third World. (The Soviet Union is handled somewhat sketchily, though interestingly.) The book is in fact well worth reading for the research alone, even though the results of this research sometimes do not fit exactly into the conceptual framework of the book.
Even when this occurs, it does not represent a major flaw, since the theories expressed in the book, interesting as they are, are put forward ‘only in order to facilitate comprehension of the material.
The book is always readable and interesting, and in an area dominated by obfuscation has an air of common sense and realism.