The Peace Calendar Vol.2 No.10
Full text version of all articles from
Bob Penner — November 1984
Bob Penner and Christopher Ross — November 1984
OTTAWA — The strength of the peace movement in Canada was made apparent to Prime Minister Mulroney, Opposition Liberal leader John Turner and NDP leader Ed Broadbent in separate meetings with representatives of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign (PPCC) on October 22.
All three party leaders agreed to meet with Peace Petition Caravan Campaign representatives on the strength of the 8-month campaign, which gathered over 430,000 signatures in over 200 communities across the country. (The confirmation that Prime Minister Mulroney would meet with PPCC representatives came from his office only on Friday afternoon, after the final signature total was known.)
The delegations to the leaders emphasized the strength gained by the peace movement in Canada, especially as a result of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign. In particular, they stressed the extent to which the movement is endorsed by different types of organizations, most notably organized labour. PPCC representatives raised the points of the petition and the issue of Canadian support for a nuclear freeze. The manner in which the leaders viewed the peace movement and how they would deal with it in the future was also discussed.
The Prime Minister called the PPCC effort “impressive” and pledged an open and consultative relationship with peace groups.
PPCC representatives made it clear that they would continue to work for the program adopted by the PPCC but were not expecting immediate agreement from the government. They suggested to the Prime Minister that a signal of his true concern for peace would be a vote in support of the nuclear freeze motion at the United Nations in December.
Prime Minister Mulroney told the group that the appointments of Douglas Roche and Stephen Lewis were indicative of his policy as Prime Minister. “I made those appointments personally, and I did not consult with anyone,” the Prime Minister said.
Under questioning, the Prime Minister also revealed for the first time that he thought the Clark report on disarmament was excellent and that it would be released soon. He also stated that a white paper on defense would be developed through an open and consultative process.
John Turner also expressed recognition of the strength of the peace movement, but declined to comment on how he felt about the peace movement’s intervention in his election campaign. “It wasn’t the most reflective time of my life” he said.
When presented with evidence gathered by the Election Priorities Project, Mr. Turner acknowledged deep policy divisions within his party on the disarmament issue, and stated that a re-evaluation of his party’s program would be taking place.
Mr. Turner said he would continue to meet with peace groups in his riding, and agreed to encourage his MP’s and Liberal Party riding associations to do likewise.
The meeting with NDP leader Ed Broadbent focussed primarily on the petition’s call for a free vote on its demands. Mr. Broadbent said he felt that a free vote would let the other two parties off the hook, and would not adequately acknowledge the role of the NDP as a party. He stressed that the NDP was the only major political party to officially endorse the PPCC.
Mr. Broadbent did not substantially elaborate when asked what specifically the NDP would do in support of disarmament, but he did agree with the PPCC representatives that the government should be pressed on the United Nations freeze vote in December.
PPCC organizers were generally pleased with the results of the PPCC and the meetings. “Nobody expected the petition on its own to change policy immediately,” said PPCC coordinator Michael Manolson. “But the strength of the campaign has forced politicians to respond to us, and that is an important step in the work for peace.”
PPCC representatives also stressed that their meetings with the Ottawa politicians were in addition to, and not instead of extra parliamentary tactics.
The PPCC delegation included representatives from peace groups across the country, as well as Chaviva Hosek, president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women; Remi de Roo, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops; and Dennis McDermott, president of the Canadian Labour Conference.
After. the meetings, the collected petitions were presented to Joe Clark, Minister of External Affairs, to Herb Gray of the Liberal Party and to Nelson Reece of the NDP. The three expressed recognition of the strength of the campaign and promised full cooperation in facilitating the formal presentation procedure in the House of Commons.
Somer Brodribb — November 1984
OTTAWA — An evaluation meeting of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign has taken a step toward the formation of a national coordinating body of the Canadian peace movement.
The 4-hour meeting, which took place on October 21 in the Council Chambers of the Ottawa City Hall, included over forty peace activists from across Canada. All of the 40 felt that some sort of coordinating body or network was needed, and that specific steps should be taken to initiate it.
It was also reported that groups who participated in the PPCC (particularly those in towns through which the caravan traveled) want to remain linked to the national campaign and to other groups in the country. However, there also seemed to be a consensus that whatever structure developed should remain locally based and not have a high degree of centralization.
One proposal, which had been circulated in advance of the meeting by the Toronto Disarmament Network, called for a national conference to discuss the issue of a national coalition, to be held next year. The TDN proposal also called for a broad and representative committee to plan the conference. The TDN offered to plan and host such a conference.
There was support for Toronto as the location of the conference. However, the meeting agreed that a representative planning committee should be established before any final decisions were taken on the date, location, format, and planning process for the conference. Specifically, the meeting decided that an initial committee should be formed with the following general mandate:
- The committee should plan the advance work necessary to facilitate a national conference on the issue of the formation of some sort of coordinating body of the Canadian peace movement, including the drafting of a proposed basis of unity.
- The committee would remain open to all who want to participate. It should encourage the participation of all the components of the Canadian peace movement.
- The committee would be facilitated by the Toronto Disarmament Network, which would take responsibility for mailings and clerical work. . ,
- The committee should go to great lengths to see that the planning process is not dominated by groups from central Canada.
- The planning committee should use The Peace Calendar, the mail, and other forms of communication to make its work as public and subject to as much grassroots input as possible.
- The committee should work as quickly as a proper consultative process allows and should decide on the place, date, format, and process leading to a Canadian conference on the issue.
Initial members of the planning committee include (organizations listed for identification purposes only); David Delaunay, Ploughshares Sudbury; Leyla Raphael, President Quebec PPCC; Jamie Scott; Coordinator of the Election Priorities Project; Michael Manolson, Coordinator of the PPCC; Lynn Connell, Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament; Jim Stark, Operation Dismantle; Gordon Flowers, Executive Director, Canadian Peace Congress; Chris Ross, Psychologists for Social Responsibility; Walker Jones, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Ottawa; David Langille, Peaceworks; Andrew Van Velzen, Cruise Missile Conversion Project; Joan Rentoul, Guelph Disarmament Committee; Andre Jacob, Conseil Quebecois Pour la Paix; John Wilkinson, Brockville; Kristin Ostling, Ottawa, and others.
Qualified support for the initial TDN proposal came from groups who were not in attendance, including the End the Arms Race Coalition in Vancouver and representatives of major peace coalitions in Victoria and Winnipeg. The planning committee’s initial steps were not discussed leaving future steps open to further suggestion.
Anyone interested in working on the National Peace Conference Planning Committee should send her or his name, address and telephone number to the Toronto Disarmament Network, 736 Bathurst Street, Toronto M5S 2R4.
Metta Spencer — November 1984
Women and Education for Peace and Non-Violence was the topic of a two-day conference sponsored by the Centre for Women’s Studies of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. The conference, held in late September, was attended by a largely feminist and female audience of about 140 persons, including local and international peace activists, teachers, librarians. academics and students. The papers presented will be part of a Round Table on Women and Peace movements that will take place next year in Stuttgart, Germany.
The Toronto conference, which drew on the immediacy of its participants’ shared concerns over peace, stood in distinct contrast to another conference in London, Ontario, on Philosophy and Nuclear Arms. Participants in London discussed Game theory and “gamesmanship” with a largely male audience — only one woman was on the programme.
The Women and Peace Conference did not represent a unified perspective on issues, nor did it resolve them. Rather, it opened them to serious” debate. During presentations and discussions, questions about the relationship of women to peace proved more complicated than stereotypical and facile associations might suggest.
For example, American Berenice Carroll indicated that we should not equate feminine passivism and feminist pacifism, and Dorothy Thompson of England traced the general history of peace movements and called a specific female claiming of them disingenuous. Thompson further argued that female control over socialization is important in promoting war, and we should not shift the responsibility or blame for war onto one sex or class. After all, she commented, women do exercise violence against their children.
A response from the floor cited statistical information which indicated overwhelming male responsibility for violence in “both the domestic and public spheres. Tensions between these two perspectives resonated throughout the conference.
. Speaking of women’s attempts to prevent World War I, Sandra Cooper of New York reminded us that the long record of women’s peace activism takes as many forms as peace activism. However, she did not pursue questions of female specificity. Veronica Strong Boag of Vancouver paid important attention to the activities of Canadian women in the interwar years.
A wonderfully moving presentation by Setsuko Thurlow of the Toronto Board of Education pointed to the absence of research on women as important motors in the Japanese peace movement. She moved on to explore the sociopsychological consequences of the atomic bombing of Japan. Her presentation brought alive these compelling issues, and the need for community awareness and action for peace. This call was taken up by Margaret Wells, also of the Toronto Board, who offered her experience in teaching peace studies in the classroom. She has undertaken curriculum development in that area, and kits for students and teachers should be available before the end of December.
Films were well integrated into the formal presentation. Women, Peace and Power, by Bonnie Klein, Terri Nash and Dorothy Rosenberg of the NFB is in the final stages of production, and the conference assisted in its birthing. If You Love this Planet by Terri Nash of the NFB was screened, as well as two lesser known films on the atomic bombing of Japan: a 8-minute animated piece called Pica Don and a 26-mimute film called The Lost Generation which used film footage purchased back from the American government.
These two films can be rented for a $25 donation from Hiroshima/ Nagasaki Relived, 69 Olsen Drive, Toronto, Ontario M3A 3J4 (416) xxx-xxxx.)
The conference played a crucial role in initiating and facilitating research and action .by women on peace. It was a promising beginning for the urgent exploration of the connections between women’s studies and peace studies, feminism and peace activism. This work will be continued by several feminist journals: RFR/ DRF (Resources for Feminist Research /Documentation sur la recherche feministe) is soliciting information about women and peace projects (RFR/DRF) O.l.S.E., 252 Bloor St. W., Toronto, M5S 1T6).
Atlantis is producing a special issue on feminist peacework, and invites submissions on scholarly, artistic and activist forms. (For more information contact Barbara Roberts, c/o Atlantis. Mount Saint Vincent University, 166 Bedford Highway, Halifax. Nova Scotia, B3M 2J6).
anon — November 1984
Most Canadian peace activists were encouraged by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s naming of Joe Clark as Minister of External Affairs. And Mr. Mulroney’s choice of a born-and-bred NDP man, Mr. Stephen Lewis, as Ambassador to the United Nations astonished everyone.
The appointment of Mr. Douglas Roche as Disarmament Ambassador was much less surprising. Until recently, Mr. Roche sat in Parliament as a member of Mr. Mulroney’s own party, and played a virtually unique role in alerting other Progressive Conservatives to the dangers of nuclear weaponry.. He has lately served as an officer of Parliamentarians for World Order (the organization that is largely responsible for the Five Continent Peace Initiative), as well as authoring (among others) a book on the United Nations. (See the review in the October, 1984 issue of The Peace Calendar.
In addition to these major appointments, peace activists Joanna Miller and Ann Gertler have been invited to serve as advisors to the current United Nations delegation. Ms. Gertler is a Montreal-based member of Voice of Women, and serves as a director of Project Ploughshares and also that of the new Canadian International Institute for Peace and Security. Both women often visit the United Nations as Non-governmental Organization (NGO) observers, and now during this session they will spend at least two or three weeks there as official government advisors.
Ann Gertler explained by phone how the session will probably go. The General Assembly lasts for twelve weeks. Most of the work is actually done in a number of committees, each of which may comprise delegates from all 159 nations. The Committee on Disarmament began work on October 15 by spending about two weeks hearing statements from member countries. On about November 19 it will begin voting on resolutions, which will then be received by the entire General Assembly. Only very rarely does the General Assembly’s vote reverse the decision of one of its committees.
The Canadian delegation will continuously receive instructions from officials of the Arms Control and Disarmament Division of External Affairs in Ottawa. Lately these instructions have been issued by two men: Mr. Louis Delvoie and Mr. Gary Smith. However, consultation and decision-making flow in both directions, and the relative influence of the Ottawa staff and the Disarmament Ambassador varies from issue to issue.
The peace movement will be watching closely for a reversal of the Canadian government’s vote against a nuclear freeze. However, Ms. Gertler does not give that issue top priority, since she is not satisfied with the formulation of the freeze proposals that have been put forward up to this time. She would much prefer the wording proposed by Mexico and Sweden, which calls for a bilateral moratorium and the use of verifications procedures that have already been established in the SALT I agreement.
According to Gertler, what really counts — and she says that this is recognized now in Europe — is a freeze that will be coupled with a removal of all land-based weapons. A freeze on production, on the other hand, cannot be instantaneous, since contracts already exist for the manufacture of weapons systems.
Ms. Gertler could not say, at the time of our interview, what the Canadian priorities will be at this session. The first clarification of that will come when Ambassador Roche gives his first speech. However, she mentioned six objectives that seem most important to her and Ms. Miller. They are as follows:
- Stop the militarization of space. Call for a moratorium on the testing of space weapons — both Anti-Satellite Weapons (ASATS) and Ballistic-Missile Defense systems (BMDs).
- Stop the testing of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems by a moratorium, to be followed by a treaty — which is almost ready anyway. It was practically finished in 1980.
- Establish an arms registry to help stem the effects of spreading militarization around the world. (This is a proposal strongly supported by Project Ploughshares.)
- Develop an International Satellite System as part of the verification procedures that would make treaties more credible. (Contrary to the views of Science for Peace, which has promoted ISMA — an International Satellite Monitoring Agency — Gertler does not propose that this be administered by a new agency: there are enough agencies already, she says.)
- The nuclear powers should all pledge No First Use of Nuclear Weapons. (As with Nuclear Weapon Free Zones, this commitment would be an important step toward reducing the chance of nuclear war.)
- Finally, it is possible that the Five Continent Peace Initiative (which contains a freeze clause) will be presented as a resolution to the General Assembly. If so, Gertler feels that Canada should vote for it.
Both Gertler and Miller encourage peace workers to write supportive, well-reasoned letters to Mr. Mulroney and Mr. Clark on these and other issues with which they will be dealing in the months ahead.
Roy McFarlane — November 1984
OTTAWA — During the October 21 meeting with Peace Petition Caravan Campaign representatives, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney indicated that the Clark report on disarmament would be released soon.
The report, which was compiled earlier this year by the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark, is based on a series of public meetings Clark held in cities across Canada.
Some sources have indicated that the report may include a call for a limited freeze of nuclear weapons, which is contrary to NATO policy.
The document was to be released in August, and several prominent Canadians have called for its release in the months since then, including former United Church moderator the Very Rev. Lois Wilson.
According to Wilson, releasing the report would open the door for a review of Canada’s defense policy.
Hans Blumenfeld — November 1984
OTTAWA — Jamie Scott, coordinator of the Election Priorities Project, said the response from candidates during the recent federal election indicates the trends within the three political parties, particularly the Progressive Conservatives. He said that the Project as a whole offers useful information on the strengths and weaknesses of the Canadian peace movement.
The Project, co-ordinated out of the offices of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, but reliant on grass roots support from across the country, concentrated on interviewing candidates in over 100 ridings prior to the — election. According to the results, while a majority of Progressive Conservative candidates agreed with further testing of the cruise missile, they also supported a nuclear weapons freeze, provided that it was verifiable and that it did not lock either side into a position of superiority.
(On the cruise question, 78 PC candidates favoured continued tests, 6 wanted them cancelled and 20 gave no response. At the same time 89 of the 95 surveyed favoured a nuclear weapons freeze with the above mentioned proviso.) In other questions, the Conservative candidates favoured a global referendum on disarmament 83 to 9, and favoured as well increased overseas development aid 85 to 5.
“Beyond the statistics, what we learned came from the experiences of the riding committees. The Project was implemented by local groups in most areas of the country, explained Scott. “I think that was the key. We empowered people at. the local level.
“We also learned that we can set the agenda (in an election) if we are prepared in advance. That doesn’t mean we set the agenda for the whole election.
“The peace movement is so often a reactor — we react. For instance, someone from the media will phone me up and say ‘Hey, George Bush is coming to town next week. Are you going to have a rally’?’ This happened to me. I’d say, ‘gee, no, we weren’t going to, but maybe we should.” Then we phone everyone up and get 70 people out there. and then the media comes up, shoves a microphone into your face and says, ‘You really must be disappointed with the turnout’? That’s a dramatic example, but the point is that the peace movement often reacts to the situation with too little preparation, too little knowledge, too little money, too little everything.”
CCIC set up Election Priorities eight months before the election was called. During that time, ten workshops were held to familiarize local groups with the strategy, and contacts were made in over one hundred ridings. According to Scott. the strength of the Project came from the local organizing.
“Even though there wasn’t a sense nationally that these were important issues, locally they were,” Scott said. While the project did not receive much national media coverage,
Scott now has a massive clipping file of reports from newspapers in dozens of small communities across the country.
According to Scott, the main failure of the Project was the regional disparity in the involvement of local groups. “We had good response in B.C., and in Alberta (even though a lot of PC candidates refused to answer the questionnaire) — we had a riding committee going in a majority of the ridings. We had an average response in Saskatchewan; we had some activity in Manitoba — in half the ridings, mostly in Winnipeg. We had an excellent response in Ontario, there was something going on in 75 of the 95 ridings. Quebec was a .dismal failure. Part of that was our responsibility, and part was the nature of the peace movement in Quebec. The Maritimes were scattered, like the West. New Brunswick: we had something going in half the ridings. P.E.I. was totally covered. We heard back from two ridings in Nova Scotia, and in Newfoundland we had nothing.”
The major strength of the Project, Scott said, was the empowerment it gave local groups, and the nature of the approach to candidates. “The strategy called for them to make an appointment with their candidate. The face-to-face kind of dialogue was not confrontational, it was educational. It was based on sitting down and overcoming your natural intimidation by power figures. We were not trying to identify friendly candidates and then campaign for them or target non-friendly candidates,” Scott said.
“I know in some cases the riding committee expressed at their meeting a desire for an ongoing dialogue with their candidate (who then became their M P), and that the candidate welcomed that. I’d like to see us make use of that. I’d like to see what we can do.”
CCIC will be hiring a half-time person, when — Scott’s contract expires, to work on disarmament and development issues. The position, in part, will include a follow up to the Election Priorities Project.
Lynn Connell — November 1984
The peace movement is growing all over the world. Governments are beginning to support its demands in words — but not in deeds. The arms race continues; more is needed to achieve a breakthrough: The peace movement must strengthen its unity and start new initiatives.
The Canadian Peace Congress has invited all sections of the peace movement to a Dialogue, to be held November 23-26 in Toronto, at the Skyline Hotel. A wide variety of peace organizations from all continents, including official agencies of the United Nations as well as NGOs affiliated with the UN will be represented.
This is a unique opportunity to learn from world-wide experience, to deepen mutual understanding, and, above all, to develop new and more effective ways to bring about disarmament and peace on our threatened planet. For Torontonians, this is a great chance to meet peace workers from other countries. There will be a public meeting at 7:30 pm on Saturday November 24 at the Convocation Hall on U. of T. campus. Watch out for announcements, or call the Canadian’ Peace Congress at xxx-xxxx.
Floyd Howlett — November 1984
OTTAWA — Two Peace Petition caravans travelling from the east and west coasts came together at a gala welcoming ceremony at Parliament Hill, Ottawa, on Saturday, October 20. They were laden with over 400,000 disarmament petitions to mark the culmination, of the eight month long Peace Petition Caravan Campaign.
The east and west caravans left St. John’s, Nfld. and Victoria, B.C., respectively, on Saturday, September 29 to begin their 9,000 kilometer, three week trek across Canada. Stops were made at over 70 towns along the way to pick up the peace petitions.
This reporter flew to Victoria from Toronto to join Art and Lou Rumsey and Mary Williamson from Salt Spring Island, and Clarence White from Duncan, B.C. for the west to east caravan route. The Rumseys donated their large camper trailer as the “official vehicle” and Ms. Williamson and Mr: White followed behind in their decorated cars as the caravan wove eastward from Victoria to Ottawa collecting a total of 300,000 signatures. Stephanie Sydiaha joined the caravan in Saskatoon and Brennain Lloyd in North Bay.
Sally and Charles Davis travelled the east to west route from St. Johns, Nfld. to Ottawa in their official caravan truck accompanied by Bob Penner, an organizer with the Toronto Disarmament Network and Andrew Seccord, a Peddler for Peace, who joined them in Quebec for the last week of their journey. The east coast caravan collected over 125,000 signatures from the 30 towns they visited.
At each town along the route, the caravans were greeted enthusiastically by peace groups working in conjunction with labour, women’s, native, church, performing artists, youth, and athletic associations who have spent the last eight months gathering petitions door to door, at country fairs, shopping plazas and on street corners. Each signature represents an outreach program of its own. In many cases, the conversations with the canvassers about disarmament and the threat of nuclear war were the first that the community had ever participated in.
The formal presentations of the petitions to the caravan were accompanied by a variety of unique welcoming events organized to celebrate the occasion. In some cases the caravans were met outside town by a cavalcade of decorated vehicles who accompanied them into town led by a police escort, horns honking and lights on. The caravan met with local mayors, authors, federal, provincial and municipal politicians, church leaders and many peace activists, and were fed wonderful home cooked meals at every stop. Local folk singers and bands entertained the group in many communities. Television, radio and newspaper reporters were present to record the event. After providing accommodation for the caravaners, local communities waved them off with good wishes to their next stop.
Lynn Connell is the national coordinator of the Caravans and an organizer with Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament (PAND)
— November 1984
FORT QU’APPELLE — “Most military build up around the world is not so much for protection against outside aggression as for the preservation of institutions of injustice.” This was the conclusion of Ernie Regehr, Peace Researcher for Project Ploughshares and theme speaker for a “Peacemakers’ Workshop”, held at the Prairie Christian Training Centre in Fort Qu’Appelle from September 14 to 16.
To back up his statement Regehr pointed out that a vast amount of the U.S. military budget goes towards the protection of economic interests in what the U,S, perceives to be its sphere of influence. This is done through direct intervention, as in Grenada, through the threat of the use of nuclear weapons against any nation that might interfere, and through’ indirect intervention by beefing up the forces of repressive governments. In a similar way a vast amount of the U.S.S.R. military budget goes toward a military. machine which is capable of controlling its own satellites,
Speaking of Canada’s part in the arms race, Regehr said that Canada’s spending on the military is not so miniscule as it is often made out to be, Among NATO nations Canada stands fifth in absolute military spending. He also identified four pressures that will be put upon the new government in Ottawa with regard to defense issues:
First, there will be pressure to express solidarity with the U.S. in its military expansion program — even to the point of supporting the U.S. in interventions abroad.
Second, there will be pressures to increase Canadian military commitments to NATO in spite of the fact that there is large scale opposition in many’ NATO countries to the stationing of more weapons of. mass destruction within their borders.
Third, there will be a push to increase defense contracts, both through the Defense Production Sharing Agreement with the U.S., and through increased access to Third World defense markets, even if this means relaxing guidelines against shipping arms to nations at war or to repressive governments.
Finally, with regard to international disarmament issues, the U.S. will be pushing Canada to give complete support for expansion of its nuclear arsenal. At the same time there will be strong pressures from churches and peace groups to support a nuclear freeze and a reversal of the arms race.
A proposal coming out of the Peacemakers’ Workshop was that participants launch a letter writing campaign to local M. P.‘s, to the new Minister of External Affairs and to opposition critics asking “that Canada take a position in favour of a nuclear freeze and support the nuclear freeze resolution” to be presented shortly at the United Nations General Assembly. In order that Canada may show its’ sincerity with regard to a nuclear freeze, participants in the letter writing campaign will also ask that Canada begin immediately to disengage itself from the umbrella agreement with the US which allows the testing of the cruise missile and other delivery vehicles for nuclear weapons.
— November 1984
On October 20, 1984, one of the largest petition drives ever conducted in Canada, the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign, came to an end with rallies held across Canada, and the presentation of the petitions to their local M.P.s.
The rallies, in combination with the presentation of the petitions, provided an unprecedented opportunity for affecting our representatives in government In order to increase the impact of the culmination of P2C2, this month’s letter writing suggestion is to direct letters to your Member of Parliament, encouraging him/her to support the objectives of the petition and asking that he/she work for a free vote in Parliament on the objectives of the petition, If public meetings have been planned for November in your city ask the people attending the meetings to take 15 minutes when they arrive home to write a letter (or provide time for letter writing during or after the meeting), You can increase the probability that they will write by providing them with the address of their M,P. (given below) and by informing them that no postage is required.
In addition to writing letters, you might approach your city council asking that they pass a resolution in support of P2C2 and that this resolution be sent to both your Member of. Parliament and to Mulroney, Turner and Broadbent. Presentations to city council can be arranged by contacting the city clerk and asking that time be allotted at the next council meeting for the resolution. To get the most mileage out of going to city council, contact the local press prior to the council meeting and ask that they come out and cover the council meeting.
The phone number for the city clerk can be found under government listing in the phone book. Letters to your M.P. require no postage and should be addressed to House of Commons, Ottawa, Ont. K1A OA6. This month’s letter writing suggestion comes from a Vancouver-based peace group,
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 targeted for letters.
NLWC c/o Doug Mohr
P.O. Box 43
70 King 51. N.
Waterloo, Ontario N2J 3Z6
Christopher Ross — November 1984
Those of you who read the first issue of the UCPN newsletter in October’s Peace Calendar will recall that I briefly discussed the objectives of peacemaking efforts within the United Church of Canada. I also promised to continue that discussion in. November by looking at some theological perspectives behind these objectives. The following excerpt from the October newsletter will provide a lead-in to this month’s discussion:
“The objective of peacemaking efforts within the United Church of Canada might best be described as “Disarm and Develop,” or “Peace through Justice” as the World Council of Churches so aptly put it during its 1983 Assembly in Vancouver. This goal of “Disarm and Develop” is based upon the 1981 United Nations’ Study on Disarmament and Development. The conclusion of that study states: ‘The arms race and underdevelopment are not two problems. They are one. They will be solved together or neither will ever be solved….
I have selected two Biblical texts to highlight some of the theological influences behind United Church peace efforts. In the Old Testament, the book of Micah, chapter 4, verse 3 reads: “And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
In the New Testament, the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 25, verses 34-40 read: “Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, o blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick arid you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me’” .
The reading in Micah talks about converting our missiles into socially useful goods — plowshares and pruning hooks or better farming and medical equipment and transportation systems, for example. Many Christians within the United Church of Canada and throughout the world consider a dangerously escalating arms race (and a world that studies war for more than it ever studies peace) to be in total contradiction with this message in Micah.
The text from Matthew speaks to us about reaching out to the poor and suffering of this world. It also says, it seems to me, that when we do this, we serve God. It speaks to me of a Christ who lives in each and every one of us. Doesn’t this also mean, however, that when we fail the poor, we fail Christ? Again, many Christians see our rising military expenditures as violation of this message from Matthew. At present, as you know, we spend the majority of our world’s resources on “defence”. How does this help us to serve the two-thirds of our world’s people who, right at this very moment, live in poverty-stricken conditions?
The UN Study on Disarmament and Development explains that our mounting crises in the developing world are being further aggravated by the fact that countries which need tools or products that will help them develop their own economies are instead being sold millions of dollars worth of weapons. According to the report, this situation will continue to worsen as our global economy becomes increasingly based upon weapons production and sales — sales which benefit the producers and managers, buyers and sellers, here and in developing countries, and provide this small group with exceedingly high profits in hard times. These sales, in turn, cause further social unrest when military “needs” are met at the expense of basic human needs and, hence, the requests for more weapons to keep the masses quiet. Such a cycle provides great economic gain for an elite minority but it is deadly for the majority of people. Such a scenario leads to what the World Council of Churches calls the alternative approach of “Peace Through Justice”. The WCC statement affirms the belief that we will only truly have peace when we learn how to equitably share our world’s resources.
United Church members have also been moved by our own United Church Manifesto on Nuclear Disarmament approved by our General Council Executive in 1982. The following is a short excerpt from that statement:
“Because we confess Jesus Christ, the crucified one, and we are a people of the cross… Therefore, we name and reject the false god, of national security, national or racial superiority, economies based on the production of arms and a false peace which depends on terror and not on justice and we will see instead the fullness of God’s Shalom with justice, freedom and wholeness of life for all peoples,”
We, in the United Church of Canada, worship a just, a loving and a compassionate God. It seems, therefore, that we must seek a peace that is built upon justice, love and compassion. The above passage from Matthew focuses our attention on the poor and suffering of this world. This, I believe, calls us to take a long hard look at the cause of war in today’s society. As respected Quaker and longtime peace activist Ursula Franklin states: “The tools of war, however horrible, are not the roots of war.”
What is the cause of war today? While we are asked to believe that it is some communist conspiracy, is it not more likely rooted in the fact that 10%
of the world’s people eat up 60% of the earth’s resources and that the other 90% of our brothers and sisters around the globe are not too happy with what’s left over for them? Christian theologian William Sloane Coffin says that “revolts are caused by revolting conditions.” Indeed, as the above statistic indicates, most of the members of our human family are living in revolting conditions.
In closing, I believe that members of the United Church of Canada are becoming increasingly involved in peacemaking efforts because, as Christians, we affirm that our earth’s security rests not in armaments but in the justice of equitable human relationships nourished by cooperation and love.
A PRAYER FOR THOUGHT: Oh God of Compassion. May we turn our many stockpiles of swords into ploughshares and may we do it for the hungry, the thirsty, the estranged, the naked, the sick and the imprisoned of our world. And may we know; that when we do this for the least of these, we do it for you.
“PLEASE NOTE: United Church Peace Network’s new address and phone — United Church Peace Network, Bathurst Street United Church, 736 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2R4. (416) xxx-xxxx.
Please see the Events Calendar for listing of November United Church Peace Activities.
Please send me information for December newsletter by November 15.
Joanne Clarke, Peace Coordinator
— November 1984
The following article was excerpted from a longer version which appeared in the Summer 1984 issue of Therapy Now.
Much of our anxiety about our children’s reaction to nuclear war is a reflection of our own muddled way of coping with the unimaginable — a nuclear holocaust. Mostly we push the fear from our awareness. Children are not so good at emotional avoidance. So the issue is not whether to shield your children from’ nuclear anxiety. Rather it is whether or not they have to deal with the fear alone, without adults ‘being around’ — in the sense of their being willing to talk about the issues.
As long ago as 1965, Dr. Escalona asked school children in New York this question: “What are’ some of the ways in which the world would be different ten years from now”?
An amazing 70% spontaneously mentioned the possibility of a nuclear war. Beardsley and Mack in 1982 in a survey of 1100 children in four American cities found over 505 of children-below the age of 12 knew about the dangers. In Finland, a country less involved in the arms race than Canada, the fear of war outweighed all other fears in every age group. Of the 12 year-olds who expressed fears, 79% mentioned war, and 27% thought about it weekly. A small group — about 8% — stood apart from the rest: these youngsters appeared preoccupied with war saying they thought about it almost every day. Girls seem to be more aware of the issue and talk about it more. A survey in California found that fear of nuclear war was second only to fear of a parent dying.
When adults actually approach them about the issue, children seem remarkably clear, and appreciative of the opportunity to express themselves.
“I think it is necessary to discuss and learn about the issue of nuclear war, but I find it very scary, so I try not to think about it. hut I do discuss it and go on marches,” (15 year old Toronto High School student).
Not only do children think about it, they care, and are often upset:
“I have this dream every couple of months and it just keeps coming back: Something happened in school, and first there was a big BOOM, and then an earthquake and things started flying, Everything parted and I almost fell in, and when I went outside there were only four survivors of the whole entire thing.” (Melissa, aged 12.)
Children are also angry, though for the time being, more at leaders and government than at adults in general: “
“There are old men with fingers on the button, and they are playing with our lives, which we haven’t had yet, while they’ve had long full ones. It makes me mad.” (Kirk, aged 15).
It is hard for the growing adolescent with this experience not to feel alienated from the institutions of society — be it school, church or governments. \ Long term goals begin to seem pointless in the face of possible extinction, and it is tempting to withdraw and look solely to excitement in the present moment.
.. Personally I feel it is hopeless — that it (the arms race) is not going to STOP and I’m going to die before my time. We take drugs because we are trying to make the best of the time we have got.” (Kirk, aged 15).
Of course it is difficult to separate cause from effect or individual sensitivity from objective danger. Nevertheless the threat of nuclear war would certainly seem to increase the difficulty of growing up with a measure of self esteem, worthwhile ideals, and an adequate identity, especially when adults, looked to as models’ for problem solving, seem unconcerned, fatalistic or uncommunicative. The threat of nuclear extinction also robs the growing child of the sense of permanence which she needs in order to develop an enduring sense of herself. Why delay gratification and develop ‘ideals’ if the physical future is not assured?
Children are affected differently at different ages: to a baby the world outside is generally threatening. Confronted with disaster, the child between 4 and 6 expresses concern only as to what will happen to them if “mummy and daddy” are gone. Between 6 and 8 they seem able to grasp that no-one at all may be left to care for them. Only after 8 years does the child have a sufficient sense of her own identity to realise that she too would be killed. Once a child has a sense of her own mortality, this is probably the time to have the courage to sound the child out and check if their general fears have been added to by awareness of the real danger of nuclear extinction.
As adults, however, our own half conscious attempts to protect ourselves from an uncomfortable reality subtly but frequently get in the way of involving ourselves with the child’s world and looking and seeing what the child really needs. Too often we shy away from a child’s simplicity and directness. Too often we are inclined to give way to our fear of what conflicts may be stirred up in us by a child’s searching questions or intense feelings.
If we want to face the nuclear reality with energy, and realistic hope, rather than tense doom, it helps to know the clever ways we deceive ourselves as adults. Psychologists’ call these defense mechanisms. Knowledge of them can reduce defensiveness with our children. Four defense mechanisms are frequently involved in our handling of the nuclear issue: denial, depersonalisation, projection, fragmentation.
Denying the Nuclear Threat
We all use the defense of denial in our lives. Spontaneously we look away from the TV screen when we see a massacre on the 6 o’clock news.’ This is a natural and largely conscious avoidance of nasty aspects of reality. What is harmful about denial is that we actually pretend the world is different from what it is. We suppress our feelings and distort facts to support our wish that the threat of nuclear extinction would go away.
Moreover we get angry at people who confront us with facts that do not square with what we want to believe and make our task of denial more difficult. The most extreme effects of this process was observed in the survivors of Hiroshima who claimed they “suddenly felt nothing.” Psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton coined the term “psychic numbing” to describe such denial. This condition afflicts us all to some degree, We all block our feelings because feelings of fear, anger and desperation are uncomfortable. If we had the courage to experience them we might feel pushed to start to do ..something about the situation.
Children’s feelings, however, lie closer to the surface: they are more inclined to admit to their terror. Nor do adult techniques of denial impress them;
“Reagan’s just as scared as we are, he’s trying to show muscle. Probably deep down he’s freaked out. But he covers it up by showing off strength. (Ricky, aged 12).
Depersonalising the Arms Race
There is a sense in which we are already “at nuclear war,” and the first casualty has been the truth. Because we could not face ourselves as the actual person who is willing to push the button that will result in mass killing, we depersonalise the reality by discussing abstract statistics, and cleverly laundering new words such as “overkill”, “megatonnage”, “stockpiles.” This form of language has been dubbed ‘newspeak,’ Thus:
“Using conventional delivery vehicles, NATO has an overkill capacity of eight. Accuracy can be improved with the development of re-entry vehicle system”
“The Canadian Government and its Allies are willing and able to kill 200 million men, women and children eight times over, but we could be more efficient about it if the bombs were fired from space satellites.”
Children by and large lack the ability to use language in this way. When they see a newspaper headline with ‘bomb’ in it they may actually ‘see’ the bodies being killed and ‘feel’ the impact. Consequently, they may have a need to talk about it with you, the same as if a car had just missed them when it mounted the sidewalk outside school.
Projecting what is bad onto the other side
Few of us can live with ourselves as mass killers of innocent civilians, even if they do have different beliefs. Consequently, we have to make our victims ‘bad’, or less than human, in order to keep our humanity intact. On the whole we think that burning heretics three hundred years ago was not a good thing. And yet we support the theory of nuclear deterrence which is based on our willingness to have the doomsday button pushed.
Projection is a common human mechanism. We use it often when our relationships are stressed: the tired and irritable husband who drops the china tea pot exclaims ‘Look what you made me do’ to his wife, in order to live with his own grief at breaking something precious to him. With nuclear bombs the damage is greater, but the justification is as ‘mature! “Look what you nasty Russians made me do to you.”
Fragmentation of daily action from thinking about nuclear explosions
We lead a double life. We conduct our affairs as if nothing has changed while knowing that with the bombing of Hiroshima everything has changed. The NATO and NORAD Treaties we have negotiated involve the possibility of a nuclear holocaust in 90 minutes time. So that we can go about our lives, we call these agreements between governments ‘security treaties.’ If we tried to explain this to our children they would find it hard to understand.
As we become aware of how these and other psychological defense mechanisms have distorted our awareness, new possibilities for more direct communication open up.
Often, however, in order to get to a deeper level of relationship with our family some discomfort is involved. The same applies to really close contact with relating to our children around the possibility of nuclear extinction. In some ways awakening to the nuclear issue is like mourning the death of a loved one. Fortunately we know something about the stages of successful mourning:
First there is (i) denial: ‘This isn’t possible.’ Denial usually gives way to (ii) shock and paralysis. If the person is talked with and given real life facts, this stage completes and specific (iii) fears can be expressed. (“What will happen to me?) (iv) the fourth stage is anger: (“How could this be allowed to happen’?” “Who is responsible’?”) Usually when he can express his outrage, there is then room for the courage to experience the (v) sadness and the loss of who is loved. It is then — facing the reality — that we can move into (vi) resolution and mobilisation.
What is true for individual mourning can also be true collectively. There is, however, one big difference between the nuclear threat and personal mourning: the Great Loss has not yet occurred. We live now in The Day Before, and nuclear warfare invented by mankind, can be prevented by mankind,
It takes a mixture of realism and courage to be able to be with your children on this issue. It takes honesty to admit to them that you are worried, and to admit that while you do not have a foolproof answer you are ready and willing to live with them inside the nuclear question, My ‘experience is that facing the nuclear issue with my family and colleagues has opened these relationships and allowed us to face together many together issues that had previously separated us.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
If you are interested, here’ are some :straightforward steps that you can take:
Step I — Wake-up: dare to experience the unimaginable
Right now sit up in your chair. Close your eyes and imagine how someone you love will die if an atomic bomb dropped three miles away. Open your eyes. How do you feel? Helpless, angry, some fear or sadness? Now close your eyes again and imagine how a resident in a Moscow suburb will die if the same bomb is dropped on the Moscow Zoo. Remember pictures you may have seen of Hiroshima survivors. Open your eyes, How do you feel? Bewildered, sad, afraid, furious, outraged, determined, empowered? You have probably started a process of a wakening and aliveness, and raised the ceiling that you had to place on your capacity to feel The process of awakening to nuclear disaster is actually a liberating experience, even though you may go through a series of experiences similar to grieving.
Step II — Communicate
There are few human problems to which communication does not make a favourable difference. So ask another adult to do the exercise as well Talk about the results. Which images were different? What was the order of the feelings you went through?
How you communicate with your children will be different and will depend on their age and development. Here are some rough guidelines.
(i) Below 9 years:
(a) Ask only non-leading questions about warfare and nuclear weapons. e.g. “What are the different kinds of war that you know about?”
(b) Acknowledge any feelings you may notice that they are experiencing, by verbally labeling them. “That might be scary,” “Sounds like you are angry.”
(ii) 9 to 12 years:
In addition to non-leading questions and responding to feelings, you could supply specific information on the nuclear issue, ask more specific questions, and ask for their response to your opinions.
(iii) 13 plus:
Make it clear that you are willing to discuss the nuclear arms race, and invite their contribution to working out global alternatives, as well as personal plans for family members.
Step III — Educate yourself
Learn more about the issue. There are lots of readable books and pamphlets available. Here are some to start:
Not with our lives you don’t. $0.50 available from the United Church of Canada, 85 St. Clair Avenue East, Toronto, M4T I M8.
The Fate of the Earth by Jonathan Schell. Publisher: Alfred & Knopf 1982 $2.00. Nuclear Madness — What you can do by Helen Caldicott. Autumn Press 1978 $3.95.
Step IV — Participate
Find a disarmament group compatible with your particular interests or close to where you live. You may go to a meeting and be surprised to find another nervously anxious person like yourself. Alternatively call a lunch time meeting at work.
Finally, a word from Johnny, aged 10. Johnny was in a class with one of those terribly biased teachers who had just presented some facts about the nuclear arms race. At the end she asked the students “Who is afraid there will be a nuclear war one day.” The whole class put up their hands, but not Johnny. The teacher asked:
“Why didn’t you put up your hand Johnny”~ Johnny’s reply was heard clearly across the classroom.
“Cause I don’t think there is going to be a war, because both my parents are going to meetings to stop it”.
False optimism you say? Well maybe. What is true is that our children do not expect us to guarantee to them a beautiful future, but they do expect us to do what we can to make some future more certain. Their responsibility will be to make it more beautiful. Now is that a fair partnership?
Christopher Ross. Ph. D.. is a clinical psychologist. founding chairperson of Ontario Psychologists for Social Responsibility. and a member of the Canadian Committee of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign. He recently collaborated in a study of the hopes and fears of 1000 Toronto school children. He has a practice in West Toronto, and gives workshops on the use and limits of psychology in stopping the arms race.
— November 1984
Anatol Rapoport has spent most of his career studying game theory — searching for ways to specify what types of decisions are rational and productive. He is particularly famous for his work with “Prisoners’ Dilemma” — a type of game in which the two players have some common interests and some conflicting interests. This game very well describes the situation of, say, two superpowers in an arms race: Both sides are losing money and safety by carrying it on, yet neither side is prepared to disarm unilaterally, lest the other side attack.
He is an emeritus Professor in the Mathematics and Psychology Departments at the University of Toronto, but he is far from retired: A campaign is underway to create a programme in Peace Studies, and Professor Rapoport has returned to Toronto to occupy the so-far unfunded “Chair of Peace studies. The Peace Calendar discussed his vision of the peace studies programme.
The Peace Calendar: How do you see yourself functioning in this chair of peace studies?
Rapoport: Well, the chair is not yet established. When it happens, then I suppose there will be some proposals for time release for other professors who. indicate an interest in participating in a programme of peace studies. They will have time off from their other teaching duties. In that case my work will be a matter of cooperating with interested members of the faculty in organizing that programme.
TPC: So someone in English or History would take time off to teach a course in peace studies?
Rapoport: Or in science or economics or so forth. In their particular areas. My role would be one of coordination.
TPC: So it won’t just be an interdisciplinary programme in which students take a course (in, say, the history department) that includes a little material on peace.
Rapoport: The centre will be peace studies from those various points of view.
TPC: So maybe you can talk about the kind of curriculum that you’d like to see in that kind of programme.
Rapoport: I usually divide peace studies into three different categories. There is an approach to peace studies that I call the affect oriented approach, where the centre of interest is the way people feel. For example, problems of interpersonal hostility, and inter-racial, inter-ethnic, or inter-religious prejudice. So peace education in this area would aim to make people more aware about where this hostility comes from, and the first step to emancipation from it. This kind of orientation, in my opinion, has only limited relevance to the big problem of war. By the big problem I mean specifically a war between the superpowers involving nuclear weapons and total destruction. At any rate, such studies are one dimension of peace studies — a dimension of most interest to religious groups, to psychiatrists, to psychologists — to people whose prime interest is the inner life of humans, the psyche, and how it relates to problems of war and peace.
Another quite different approach to peace is what I call the systemic. It takes for its point of departure the international system. This system has its own built-in dynamics. The main forces of these dynamics were different in different ages. There was a time empire-building was the principal force driving the dynamics of the system. At another time it was competition for markets. Today it is the arms race. Now, note that here very little is said about the psychology of people and their aggressiveness. It is possible to have a war of total destruction triggered by the arms race without anyone hating anyone I Without any ethnic hostility! Without even any ideological clashes! The role of ideology has been vastly exaggerated. Of course, it plays an important part nowadays because of the publicity that is given to it. But when you consider, for example, the European wars of the 18th century, there were no ideological conflicts. All of the European states subscribed to exactly the same ideology. — they were all absolute monarchies.
TPC: What were they scrambling for — territoriality?
Rapoport: Territoriality. Then there were dynastic wars: Who’s going to be the next King of Spain. Whether Maria Theresa can be recognized as the Empress of the Holy Roman Empire. It was such problems that they were concerned with. They didn’t hate each other. They were all cousins. All these kings and queens were related to each other and on very cordial terms. They hadn’t the slightest idea about ideological conflict. That went out with the wars of religion.
TPC: It’s hard to imagine how they mobilized troops under those circumstances.
Rapoport: They didn’t. There were standing armies — professionals. The army man served 25 years in this standing army and he was very highly trained. For this reason, the wars were not particularly bloody, because it was: a very bad thing to lose an army. The soldiers had to go through very intensive training. They were brainwashed to respond to orders immediately, blindly.
The close-order drill, which still governs the training of troops today, was introduced in those days precisely because the battle of those days simulated the parade ground. The squares marched, they turned flanks, they performed their ballets on the battlefields. There was no need for ideology. Only during the Napoleonic era did war become democratized!
See, there were periods of democratization and de-democratization in war. In the very primitive days when war affected everybody, and practically every able-bodied man had to participate in warfare, we would say that war was a democratic institution. In the 18th century, it was exactly the opposite. War was highly professional; morale was not of importance. Only obedience was important. There was no such thing as patriotism. Please note that in the 18th century, the generals could very frequently go from one sovereign to another without any stigma, without any onus, just like a corporation lawyer goes from one corporation to another.
TPC: Just entirely mercenary?
Rapoport: Their job was to see to it
that campaigns were properly organized and that battles were fought with correct tactics. But we tend to think of the clashes of ideologies because in our memory there’s still World War II, and we tend to think there will be the same thing in World War III, and that is a grave mistake. Ideologies played an important part in World War II.
TPC: And you don’t think it plays any part now?
Rapoport: No! If that were the case then there wouldn’t be any detente between the United States and China. For example, in the fifties it wasn’t the Soviet Union, it was China that was the arch enemy. There was the Korean War and then later Vietnam. American marines were told by their officers during political indoctrination: “The war with China has already begun. It is only a matter of time until we go in.”
TPC: Well, even during that time, though, there wasn’t any great affection toward the Soviet Union.
Rapoport: Yes, yes. But what I mean to say is that today the relations with China are almost cordial. What is different? Does China subscribe to a different ideology than the USSR? Maybe it does but it’s still Communist ideology; it’s still anathema as far as our ideologues are concerned. So how come Nixon goes to China and admires the Chinese wall and eats a Chinese dinner and then embraces the Chinese premier? So one shouldn’t take this ideology seriously. It’s a hoax. It is something that is sold to people in order to make them support the…
TPC: Ah, but so long as they have bought it, once it’s been sold to them, it’s a dynamic force; it’s very hard to.
Rapoport: Yes, but it isn’t the people who are going to launch the war. It’s the button pushers who’ll launch the war, and they don’t give a damn about ideology.
TPC: Hm. I distracted you from where you were.
Rapoport: No, not at all. This is very relevant. So, as I say, the systemic point of view has to do with the dynamics of the system itself. The ideology may at times be a driving force in it, but at the present time, it’s the arms race. The only conceivable war aim today is to knock out the opponent for otherwise he will knock out you. It’s been said that the nuclear war could have no winners. I say on the contrary: If it comes to a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States, both will win. The aim of both is to destroy the other. They will both win.
TPC: There’s a little cartoon where the jack-in-the-box pops out after it’s all over, saying, “The Winner!” and there’s nobody around.
Rapoport: Well, you can define victory in that way; nobody is left around and there are still more missiles left on one side than the other, that’s the winner. It’s scorekeeping.
TPC: When we get back to peace studies, let me see if I understand. You would be urging people to emphasize this level of study?
Rapoport: And also the third level, which actually is the one that I am most concerned with. I am also somewhat concerned with the second. I am very little concerned with the first.
TPC: The first is the psychological.
Rapoport: Yes the psychological.
The second is the systemic. The third is the cognitive — a critique of strategic thinking. It has to do with the analysis of the land of reasoning that goes into the designing of military and foreign police strategies. This where the sort of considerations come in that are derived from what I call the “higher game theory.” The part of the theory of games that is concerned with conflicts where the interests of the participants are not diametrically opposed. They are partially opposed and partially coincident.
TPC: “Mixed motive games?”
Rapoport: Mixed motive games. This is what I am most concerned with showing how inevitably and inexorably the planning and the strategic thinking of the power elites leads them into thinking and formalizing operations as if they were zero-sum games, games of complete opposition. Once a situation is formalized then, of course, their logic takes over. Then the principal question becomes, not “Where are we going?” but “Who is ahead?” Because that’s the proper question to ask in a zero-sum game.
In a chess game it is proper to ask “Who has the advantage?” And that’s the only question they ask. The only question! So that the entire foreign policy is organized around being ahead. Mostly, of course it’s in the military sphere, but some of it spills over into the economic sphere and the political sphere and so on. But it’s a matter of a race as to who is going to lord it over whom.
There is a Russian expression that says “Kto kovo?” literally “Who-whom?” “Who will lord it over whom?” Russian is very pithy. All you have to say is “Who-whom?” Who’s going to be at the top and who at the bottom? The American “Who’s ahead?” means the same.
TPC: It would seem to me that, rather than by trying to influence the general population, it would be especially valuable to bring this logic to bear on people who are training in strategic studies, and make them aware of the extra dimensions that they otherwise ignore.
Rapoport: Provided the awareness of absurdity of what they are doing is sufficient to veer them away from doing it. I don’t have any illusions about changing the way of thinking of people who are actively engaged in these strategic preparations. What I conceive of peace education to be is to bring this kind of analysis to the general public so they will not be mesmerized, not be intimidated by the claims of power elites to rationality and expertise.
TPC: How about pushing to get a Ministry of Peace in every cabinet so as to have someone speaking for that perspective whenever the Defense Minister is doing his number?
Rapoport: Yes. You see, what I have in mind is not only a critique of strategy but also of cognition. It has to do with the analysis of how we know what we know and what do we mean by what we say, and how words relate to their meaning. Semantics.
Semantic analysis is an important part of cognitive analysis. For example, the fraud that is associated with the use of the word “defense.” Weapons of total destruction do not defend anybody.
TPC: You said the other day that we’ve now got to a point where peace researchers are beginning to do studies that have practical value. Can you talk about possibilities in the future you see for peace studies?
Rapoport: The old idea about peace research as seeking ways out of the impasse looking for peacekeeping strategies. I never thought much about this conception of peace research because there’s no dearth of peace-keeping strategies being constantly proposed and anyone of them would do. I do not see the object of peace research as being analogous to that of medical research, to which it is sometimes compared. In medical research they always want to find means to combat disease, and peace researchers want to find means to combat war. But the analogy is a false one because when medical researchers find something, there’s an infrastructure which permits it to be implemented. Let the new drug found that is effective, then every hospital will have it and it will be used, see? Now, no matter what kind of proposal you make for the alleviation of the war danger, for making a more just world, it will not be implemented simply because there is no machinery for implementing it. Machinery for implementing the results of war research exists. Let there be a new effective weapon, for example, it will be implemented. No question about it.
Rapoport: Another important point: In medical research it is really not necessary to find sufficient causes for diseases: but only necessary causes. To make disease you have to find sufficient causes for it in order to generate it, but in order to combat disease, all you have to do is find a single necessary cause. If you eliminate necessary causes, you eliminate diseases.
TPC: Yes, I follow you.
Rapoport: Now the necessary cause of wars is known, so there is no use looking for it. The necessary cause of war is weapons. They may not be a sufficient cause of war, but they are necessary. So if you eliminate weapons you can’t have war on any significant magnitude. People tell me that without weapons people would fight with sticks and stones. As far as I am concerned, they are welcome to it. I don’t give a damn how they knock each other over the heads with sticks.
TPC: A stick is a weapon too.
Rapoport: Yeah, sure. But then if that is the case you can revert back to the affect oriented research and see what makes people knock each other over the head. That’s not where we’re at. The obvious necessary cause of wars of destruction is weapons. One need not look further. However, I do look to peace research to find ways and means of making people more aware of these problems. So the most important product of peace research is material for peace education. Take the recent findings about the nuclear winter. That was certainly a product of research. It provides the wherewithal to go to the people and say, “This is what nuclear war will be. It will spare nobody. No matter who your leaders tell you will “prevail,” nobody is going to survive a nuclear war.
I think one of the most significant pieces of peace research that was ever done was done by the Pentagon. It was the Pentagon Papers. Of course, the value of it was the fact that it was published. It. was not supposed to be published. But now that the decision processes that resulted in the Vietnam war are revealed, this is fuel for peace education.
TPC: Yes, a case study.
Rapoport: The most important product of peace research is peace education. Take the study that I showed you the other day — the young man who studied the military related research in Canadian universities: That’s a piece of research, right?
Rapoport: It should be used in peace education. People should know how war-serving science has been incorporated in universities.
TPC: Exactly. Okay, how soon do you expect to have our peace studies programme going?
Rapoport: As soon as funding is available.
TPC: So we’ll soon have undergraduates majoring, getting a degree in peace studies?
Rapoport: Uh huh. I would hope also for a doctoral programme.
TPC: Good, but, tell me, what can graduates do with a degree in peace studies?
Rapoport: It seems facetious to say this, but I mean it in all seriousness. One of the functions of being educated is to teach others. An important task of a competent sociologist is to train other people to be competent sociologists. The more people we have who are competent in sociology, the better society could we have. It is important to be knowledgeable in these things. What good is a musician? Performers are dime a dozen. A good solid musician also teaches others, and when one becomes knowledgeable and appreciative of music, it makes for a better life.
I take simply the point of view that an unexamined life is not worth living, as Socrates said. To examine life, you have to have knowledge. Now the peace studies could certainly revolve around solid pieces of knowledge: The history of militarism. The history of pacifism. The changing nature of war. The changing nature of war strategy, if you will. How the military science affects the other components of society. All of these matters belong to peace studies.
On the affect side, how does ethnic prejudice arise? How does it propagate? How does it spread? What are its results? What are the dynamics of communal warfare where hundreds of thousands of people are killed? Investigation of all these questions belongs to peace studies.
You are talking about getting a job. Somebody with a degree in peace studies should get a job teaching peace studies.
TPC: I would hope they would also be involved in the government, because it seems to me that that’s where they are really needed.
Rapoport: Yes, that is what I would fervently hope for. Except that this hope is very dim. It might come to that, though. After all, they do hire psychologists and historians in government. They might also hire peace specialists.
Robert M. Riekover — November 1984
Letters to the editor are welcomed. Please be brief as space is limited. Letters should be addressed to: Editorial Board. The Peace Calendar. c/o CANDIS, 736 Bathurst St, Toronto. ON, M5S 2S4.
Coalition formation urged
In reply to the article “Where do we go from here?” (TPC, October 1984), a good start would be to find a project large enough, and worthy enough. to catch the imagination of all the varied Canadian peace organizations. One project that is already being promoted by U.S. organizations, (for example the Centre for Defence Information, Greenpeace, and the First National Woman’s Conference to Prevent Nuclear War) is “To End All Nuclear Weapons Explosions.” This would accomplish the following:.
- The reliability of existing nuclear weapons would be reduced. All weapons have a shelf life and must be tested periodically. If no tests were done. the dangers of a pre-emptive “first strike” attack would be largely eliminated, as such an attack requires absolute certainty that the weapons will work as planned.
- Nuclear states would be unable to develop new nuclear weapons — in effect, the nuclear freeze would result.
- Other countries would effectively be stopped from developing nuclear weapons as any tests made would be detected.
The 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty signed by the United States and the U.S.S.R. resulted largely from worldwide grassroots opposition to the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. This Treaty has been honored by both nations, and except for a few tests by France and China. by all nations worldwide. As the peace movements now-are much stronger than they were in 1963. and all governments are now more concerned with the dangers of nuclear war, this stoppage of all nuclear weapons explosions may be a campaign whose time has come.
While the goal of complete disarmament must always be our final objective, we must start now with more immediate achieveable goals. Our short term goal would be to convince our government to take the lead in adopting this magnificent concept as official policy. Our long term goal would be to work with other international peace groups to have all the nations of the world sign a treaty banning nuclear explosions forever.
Such a project will require a co-ordinated massive effort by all Canadian peace organizations. if we are to succeed, A logical first step would be the amalgamation of our present national peace movements into an effective national Peace Lobby. If existing national organizations, such as the World Federalists, Operation Dismantle, Ploughshares, P2C2, labor, church, women’s and professional groups. were to get together under one “roof” they would undoubtedly be more effective.
We may never work out all our many philosophical and regional differences, but we can combine our efforts to achieve major goals. If we can realistically combine our present national peace organizations. the formation of a Canadian Peace Coalition will surely follows.
Galiano Island, BC
Persevere with politicians
Ottawa is a new political world just now. Lots of new Progressive Conservative members have arrived to take their seats in Parliament, and they have not formed a unified group yet with a fixed set of policies. Very few parliamentarians are well informed on the question of nuclear weapons, yet for the most part they are open-minded and ready to hear the peace constituency. As time goes by, the government policy may become crystallized and perhaps harder to influence. Now is the time to assist the new politicians in educating themselves in ways conducive to peace.
There are encouraging signs — notably the appointment of Joe Clark, Doug Roche, and Stephen Lewis. But all of these leaders will be under pressure from hardline militarists who are also in the new government. They may tend to accommodate to those pressures unless we give them the kind of support they need. Politicians cannot say the things we want them to say unless they know there’s a constituency of citizens who are behind them. For example, Disarmament Ambassador. Roche’s aspirations toward disarmament are countered in the cabinet by the views of the new Defense Minister who wants a major expansion of military expenditure. This is the time to inform and encourage all new government officials to develop, instead, strategies of nonviolence.
This is also a good time for government to review the nation’s defense policies. What do we need to defend? And how? And against whom or what? Such a review has not been done for about twenty years, so it’s overdue. In such a discussion, the possibilities for peace can be enlarged.
We wish to clarify some questions which seem to have arisen with our, publication of the Toronto Disarmament Networker. We want to assure you and readers of The Peace Calendar that in no way is our publication meant to compete with, or be in opposition to, The Peace Calendar.
We feel that, although there will undoubtedly be some overlap, the basic thrust of the two publications are different and complementary. The Peace Calendar is national in scope, covering a broad spectrum of opinion within the peace movement. It serves an important function in providing a forum for examination and debate of the issues confronting the Canadian peace movement. The Networker is local in scope, featuring reports on the activities of the TDN, and is a vehicle for our coalition to express itself and inform our supporters of our activities. Although The Peace Calendar covers major TDN events, our first issue of the Networker contains II articles on different aspects of our work. We neither expect, nor want, The Peace Calendar to focus so heavily on this level, thus the need for a publication that can be easily mailed and distributed in Toronto.
The Peace Calendar is a very important resource of the peace movement in Canada and the TDN supports it wholeheartedly.
Your publication serves an extremely important function in linking and informing a diverse movement, and your efforts deserve the support of all peace groups in the country. We see the Networker as a further addition to the growing need for published information on peace movement activities.
The Toronto Disarmament Network
At 10:00 on the morning of October 6, as I was walking along the entrance road to the R.C. Harris filtration plant in Toronto’s eastern beaches, I recognized an abnormal number of high-altitude jet vapour contrails. (As a long-time plane-watcher, I was particularly aware of how unusual the situation was. I was also able to determine the altitude at which the aircraft were flying — about 35,000 feet — and their flight path, or ‘heading’ — southeast to northwest.) I counted the aircraft as I walked along the boardwalk, and by the time I reached Kew Gardens, I had counted more than two dozen planes, flying in groups of two and four.
My first reaction was that this military exercise was an unusually large one. (The fact that these aircraft could have been anything other than military never even occurred to me.) I also came to the inevitable realization that if this was not an exercise I would be dead within an hour — if I were lucky. I began to feel sick.
I arrived home at approximately 10:30 am, and immediately called CFB Downsview. Since Downsview is not fully operational, it was closed for the weekend and the military police suggested that I call the control tower at Pearson International. The following is the conversation I had with a Flight Planning Official (FPO) at Pearson:
Myself: I am calling with regard to an abnormal number of aircraft moving over Toronto-on a SE to NW heading. Could you tell me what these are, please?
FPO: Yes, sir, there’s an airshow in Kitchener today.
Myself: No, these aircraft are not going on a heading which would take them to Kitchener.
FPO: Perhaps they are going to circle around and head back to Kitchener.
Myself: No, you don’t understand these aircraft are at 35,000 feet.
FPO: Just a minute, sir.
(four minute pause)
FPO: Just a high volume of traffic today, sir.
Myself: You mean to tell me that those aircraft are not military?
FPO: What can 1 tell you?
Myself: You mean you have them all on your radar right now and they are all civilian aircraft?
FPO: That’s right, sir.
This official was, in effect, asking me to believe that somewhere, south of the border, some 25-odd Boeing 747s, DC-10s or L-1011s, or whatever, had taken off at the same time, all headed for the same place. (The fact that these aircraft suddenly appeared in the sky at the same time and at the same altitude on identical headings suggests, logically, that they must also have come from the same place.)
During the course of that afternoon (and the days that followed) I was to make in excess of one hundred phone calls in an effort to find out what had happened. Since it was now at least an hour after sighting the first aircraft, and I was still alive, I concluded that at least it wasn’t war — though I was more determined that ever to find out what could have been so important that it would require a deliberate misinformation by the Department of Transport.
Two of the later calls are significant. The first was to CFB Trenton. Since I knew there was a Strategic Air Command (SAC) base somewhere in upstate New York, I called Mobile Command, Trenton, to find out where it was. After also trying to suggest to me that the aircraft I saw were civilian, the duty officer at Trenton told me the base was Griffiss AFB in Rome, New York.
The heading the aircraft were on could be approximated by using the CN Tower and the stack at the Richard L. Hearn generating station as reference points. I got out a map of southern Ontario, connected the two points, then extended the line into New York State. It went directly over Rome, NY. The air traffic official’s suggestion that these were civilian aircraft now became even more preposterous, since it suddenly meant that our 25-odd Boeing 747s not only had taken off at the same time, but that they had also followed a route which would have taken them directly over a fully operational SAC base. This was a highly unlikely possibility, since the airspace over operational SAC bases is highly restricted. Civilian aircraft would not even be permitted to fly the heading these planes were on.
The second call was made the following Monday to the Canadian Airline Pilots Association. I described to their information director (also a pilot) the configuration of the aircraft I saw, and asked him what the chances were of them being civilian. He replied simply, “none whatsoever. “
To date, I have not found a satisfactory explanation of what these aircraft were, where they were going, or why they were going there. I do know one thing, however: that number of aircraft coming from the direction of Griffiss AFB on identical headings probably means that they, in fact, originated from Griffiss AFB — the first fully operational SAC wing equipped with cruise missiles. Each of the B52Gs at Griffiss carries 20 air-launched cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads. This suggests that, for some reason or other, on the morning of October 6, 1984, it is highly likely that as many as 300 fully operational nuclear missiles flew directly over greater Toronto without arousing so much as a peep of protest from anyone.
In fact, I should also report two subsequent sightings, the first of which took place on Thursday October 18, the second on Saturday October 20, On the 18th, II planes flew over Toronto on the same heading, in tight formation. The Saturday event was less conclusive, since the groups of 3 or 4 planes were passing over Toronto at 15- or 20-minute intervals, over the course of several hours.
I have not yet received any satisfactory explanation of these events, and I would like to hear, in writing, from anyone who either saw the planes I saw, or can led some light on the meaning of the event.
K. Alan Fenton
14 Rainsford Avenue
Open letter to the Canadian peace movement:
The Against Cruise Testing coalition is’ launching a strong campaign for 1985 — Peace Action ’85 — a program of action for disarmament. Its goals are to continue to build and focus the disarmament movement in Canada; and, at the same time, to recognize the place of the Canadian peace movement in an international context. The demands of Peace Action ’85 are End Cruise Testing; End the Nuclear Threat; Peace is a Human Right. Scheduled events in Toronto include: November 11 — Remembrance Day ceremony at the Cenotaph at Old City Hall at 7:00 pm. December — Delivery of a Christmas message for peace. January/March — Although the exact dates of this winter’s three cruise tests are unknown, we are planning a strong reaction to each of them. One will be a “Saturday after” demonstration, and the other two are to be smaller, highly dramatic events. April ACT will organize a major spring demonstration in Toronto, as it has for the past two years.
In the context of a confused and demoralized public and a diversified peace movement, the need for a strong focus is quite clear. In Canada, clearly this means focussing on our most significant contribution to the arms race, the cruise missile. The construction of elaborate bureaucracies and the attempt to revive petitions, notoriously ineffective in the past, have only diffused precious energy and resources.
Even pressuring governments to negotiate bilateral freezes, in theory not a bad idea, is futile. Freeze negotiations in practice will be subject to the same endless complications that have plagued all talks since the beginning of the arms race. Six thousand official contacts between East and West have not managed to rid the world of a single existing weapons testing system.
We must make the links between the Canadian peace movement and the struggles around the world for human rights and the right to peace. We cannot ignore the harassment of independent peace activists and groups, both in Eastern Europe and the, USSR, and in NATO countries, such as Turkey. It is only the pressure of people in all countries that can stop the nuclear arms race.
All groups are invited to join the campaign. Disarmament is a global concern; let us do our share in Canada, while supporting parallel independent initiatives world-wide.
Members of the Against Cruise Testing coalition
370 Queen St. E.
Toronto, ON M5A 1T1
Metta Spencer (reviewer) — November 1984
The continuing debate over President Reagan’s plan to deploy MX missiles in Wyoming and Nebraska brings to mind some of the science fiction tales I read in my youth. Terms like “fratricide”. “dense pack” and “window of vulnerability” could have been found in any of the sci-fi pulp magazines of the forties and fifties. Their stories, written in the shadow of the bomb, frequently chronicled the annihilation of our planet, although I can remember one which contained a more hopeful message.
The plot went something like this: During a period of increased international tensions, there came from around the world reports of an abrupt and near total drop in birthrates. Eventually it was revealed that water supplies everywhere had been infused with chemicals which made it impossible for couples who had been living on the same continent to bear children. This news triggered a massive wave of migrations as men and women sought new, fertile. partners overseas. With all this time and energy now going into propagating our species, very little was left over to think of new ways to destroy it.
The feasibility, not to mention the ethics, of this particular scheme may be dubious but it would certainly be possible to effect a substantial mingling of the populations of the two superpowers on a voluntary basis. All that is needed is a commitment by the governments of the Soviet Union and the United States to underwrite a program of large-scale tourism between their two countries.
Expensive? Certainly. but not unreasonably so when compared with current levels of military expenditures. If, as a rough estimate, it costs two thousand dollars to send one American to Russia for two weeks, then ten billion dollars — only about five percent of America’s total annual defense spending — would pay for five million trips. For half of its total spending on all armaments, the US could send a quarter of its entire population to Russia every year. There would then be just over two million Americans, about one percent of the country’s population, in Russia at all times. Meanwhile. of course, the same number of Russians would be visiting the USA.
While the political will necessary to finance such an enormous program would take a while to develop, the physical constraints are not as great as one might imagine. Two million people travelling each way every two weeks could be transported in three hundred round trip jumbo jet flights a day. Hotel facilities, particularly in Russia, would be strained for a time, but many visitors would probably prefer to stay with families or in the temporarily vacant homes of those travelling the other way.
The positive economic spin-offs for both countries would be substantial. The revitalization of the American tourism industry, for example, would provide hundreds of thousands of new jobs at a time when they are desperately needed. Russia could use some of its dollar earnings to purchase capital equipment required for the long overdue modernization of Soviet agriculture and industry.
Most important of all, of course. would be the simple fact that everyone in Russia and the United States, including political and military leaders, would at all times have several friends and relatives held hostage, as it were, in the other country. While this might not eliminate conflicts between the two nations, it would certainly lessen the chances that anyone in either country would issue, or obey, a command to destroy the other.
To get the project off the ground, I propose that the first planeload of Russians be installed on dude ranches just east of Cheyenne. And I would like nothing better than a leisurely journey from Moscow to Vladivostok on the Trans-Siberian Railway.
Robert Rickover is an American economist and teacher of the Alexander Technique living in Toronto.
Eric Walberg (reviewer) — November 1984
Robert Axelrod. New York: Basic Books, 1984. $24.95 in Canada.
Imagine that you’re a thief. You and your partner have been caught and put in two separate jail cells. The Crown Attorney doesn’t have enough evidence to convict, though, so she offers both of you the same deal to elicit a confession. If you both confess, you’ll each get 8 years in prison. If neither of you confesses, you’ll each get one year (since she’ll book you on some minor charge for which she can get sufficient evidence to convict). But if only one of you confesses, the one who does will get a six-month jail sentence and the one who doesn’t will get twenty years. Now then, what are you going to do?
Twenty years! Wow. If your partner double-crosses you, you stand to lose a heck of a lot. Fortunately, he stands to gain only a little by doing so: He’ll get a six month sentence instead of the year you would both get by keeping quiet.
But on the other hand, he stands to gain a lot by squealing if he can’t trust you to keep quiet too. In fact, whether you can be trusted will determine whether he can afford to stay silent; if he clams up and you don’t, he loses big. Since both of you realize that fact, you may decide that neither of you can afford the risk. One or both of you may squeal, with an outcome that neither of you would have preferred.
This little drama is an example of a “mixed motive game.” In a way, your interests and those of your partner are harmonious: both of you can win if you trust each other. In another way, however, your interests are in conflict: one of you can benefit from the misfortune of the other. Your dilemma is that you have reasonable grounds both for cooperation and for conflict.
The scientific study of “decision theory” is based largely on studies involving this kind of situation, which is called “Prisoners’ Dilemma.” It is important in peace research because it illustrates some of the problems involved in coordinating activities among actors who have mixed motives — which means all of us. Almost all human relationships involve a mixture of competing and compatible interests.
Thus two (non-nuclear) enemy nations are in the same dilemma as the prisoners mentioned above. If both can trust each other, they need not arm at all, and thereby save lots of money. But if one arms and the other does not, the well-armed nation can afford to attack the defenseless and totally destroy it. For this reason, both nations may arm to “deter” the other, even though this is not the outcome that either of them would prefer. This explains arms races which, as we know, generally result in warfare.
Game theorists experiment with these situations by having teams of players choose between cooperative and competitive’ strategies in a series of games where they win or lose points on the basis of the joint decision. In this way, the experimenters can observe the outcomes when controlling the costs and benefits of cooperating or competing. They can vary other factors as well (for example, the sex of the players). This has turned out to be a very fruitful scientific field, since the situations that it models have so many counterparts that result in conflict in real life. We can develop mathematically exact answers to such questions as “Does honesty pay?” and “How can we best elicit the cooperation of others?”
Better yet, we do not need real players ,to experiment with the game. We can get computers to play according to specified strategies and, by keeping score over a long series of games, determine which strategies produce the best effects. That is precisely what Robert Axelrod has done: He invited players to submit specific strategies of play, then pitted every contestant’s strategy against every other one in a computerized tournament. ‘
To win at Prisoners’ Dilemma, as also to win in a potential arms race with an enemy nation, what is necessary is not to defeat the other player, but to improve his or her score at the same time one improves one’s own. Competitive strategies lose: The trick of winning is to play cooperatively and prompt the other team to do likewise consistently.
The winning strategy in this tournament was the simplest one: It was entered by Toronto’s Anatol Rapoport (See the interview with him in this issue). Rapoport calls his system tit for tat. It amounts to this rule: Always begin by playing cooperatively. After that, play exactly the way the other team played on the last round. If they double-crossed you, then on this round, double-cross them. If they cooperated, then you should cooperate with them. Your reciprocity will reward or punish them appropriately and prompt their cooperation better than anything else.
What is involved’ is the building up of trust over a series of games. When the interaction lasts only for one encounter, this is not possible. In games involving hundreds of rounds played by teams of several people, it is usual for players to begin’ playing competitively, then improve their scores gradually by establishing their trustworthiness and mutual cooperation.
Axelrod’s book amounts to an examination of the moral and political implications of Rapoport’s successful strategy. It applies insights from the strategy to explanations of cases when peaceful, cooperative interactions were developed in the midst of conflict. For example, during World War I, the Allied and German troops lived in adjacent trenches and were supposed to be fighting all the time. Actually, however, they built up certain understandings amounting to “live and let live.” Only because their interactions were repeated over a period of weeks could they demonstrate their trustworthiness to each other and elicit cooperation.
Books of this kind are usually awfully dull, but this one is such a good read I’d recommend it to anyone.
— November 1984
Stringband. Toronto: live concert tape of Sept. 1983 Russian tour. $8.00.
“Good evening, dear friends. The Ministry of Culture’s Gosconcert of the USSR brings to your attention the vocal and instrumental ensemble Stringband of Canada. This group uses all manner of instruments from guitars to wooden spoons. Welcome Stringband !”
With this introduction (in Russian), Stringband begins their latest album — a live concert tape of their September, 1983, tour of the Soviet Union. What would it be like to hear a concert of Canadian folk music in Kiev? Across Russia by Stage gives you a tantalizing hint. This is the first time since Perth County Conspiracy’s Breakout to Berlin that a Canadian group has used a peace theme in an East-West context as a recording format, and it is surprisingly successful.
Some of the material appears on earlier recordings. Two of the cuts are from Marie-Lynn Hammond’s fine solo. album Vignettes which was released earlier this year.
Seven of the cuts are new to the group and are all first-rate. “Refuse the Cruise” they took to show the Soviet audiences that “not everybody in Canada wanted to see the new weapons in Europe.” It describes the testing of the cruise as “our NATO dues” and expresses concern that “the finger on the trigger is you-know-whose.” The virtuoso fiddle work and the biting lyrics are truly inspired, and left Canadian diplomatic officials in Moscow squirming in their seats.
All of the new material reflects a thoughtful attempt to bridge the gulf separating our cultures. “Hopak,” a traditional Russian tune, is given a spirited arrangement by Calvin Cairns. “What Can One Woman Do”, a quiet and powerful work by Bob Bossin, and “Oh How Happy I Am” are sung in English and Russian.
Since the all-time favourite western group in the Soviet Union is the Beatles (the earlier the better), and since String band was mistakenly billed on their tour as a country and western band, they put together a country version of the Lennon/ McCartney “I’ve Just Seen a Face.” They include an excerpt to start off side II. They also include Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya”, and close side II with a popular Soviet recording of the same, a zany tribute to ‘East-meets-West.’
The album is Stringband at their best — their excitement at the opportunity to help break down the Cold War barrier shines through despite some minor technical problems. The album should be available at Sam’s or The Record Pedlar in Toronto, or for $8.00 from Mama B, 324 St: Clements Ave., Toronto M4R lH5.
Stephen Hine — November 1984
Frank G. Sommers, M.D. with Tana Dineen, Ph,D. Methuen. 176 pages. $9.95. Reviewed by Anne Hume
Can you get a clear, mental picture of an apple? Can you experience it completely, visualize it, touch it, taste it, smell it? If you can, then you are making use of right-brain thinking.
It is the thesis of Frank Sommers’ and Tana Dineen’s book, Curing Nuclear Madness that the world is suffering from the global mental illness of nuclear madness, brought on by too much reliance on left-brain thinking. It is their contention that we ‘live’ largely in the left hemisphere of the brain, the part of our mind which deals in words and symbols and processes information “logically” and analytically. The left brain is rational and has no feeling. It is also described as dominant, conscious and masculine. As Sommers says:
“…people operating without their right brains are described as being computer-like in all they think and do. Such people are talkative, giving extensive and detailed answers to questions; however, their voices are dull and monotonous and they neither show nor recognize playfulness or enthusiasm. They remain acceptably cheerful and optimistic, expressing no anger or fear. even when the reality of the situation they are in is terrible. Does that not remind you of many of our current political figures?” contrast, the right brain relics on images and feelings, processes information many bits at a time, is good at synthesis and creativity, operates from the emotions. According to Sommers and Dineen, our human ingenuity has brought us to the terrible predicament we arc in, and it requires the forces of this same will to undo the damage. It is thus the contention of Sommers and Dineen that we must find the emotional and mental resources to reverse the arms race.
The two of them (Sommers is founding president of Canadian Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), and Dineen a founding member of Canadian Psychologists for Social Responsibility) come well recommended to helping us deal with this challenge. Like their well-known colleague, Dr. Helen Caldicott, they endorse the Charter of PSR which reads in part: “Nuclear war is the Number One health problem facing all mankind… a problem for which the only cure is prevention.”
Curing Nuclear Madness takes us beyond the grim analyses of many of the anti-nuclear books. With Jonathan Schell and others have done the work of documenting the problem, Sommers and Dineen focus on a prescription to treat ‘the malady — a method to help us engage our whole selves, to become integrated and thereby. aware. Once in this awareness we are in a position to fully realize the implications of the horror we live with. Directly confronting this horror, we have no alternative but to eradicate it. As integrated beings we will have the strength to work with others to achieve this.
The prescription then? A ten-step action programme designed to help us relax, become conscious of ourselves as sensitive. sensuous beings in touch with our creative energies.
When we do this we are integrating the two halves of the brain, and drawing on the unique resources of both.
Sommers and Dineen are not speaking from a vacuum. Their professional expertise is evident through out, combined with humour and warmth. Their mentor is Albert Einstein, to whom they make frequent reference, not only as the brilliant scientist, but as an example of their thesis. They believe that Einstein’s genius derived from his balanced mind — that he drew as much from his right brain as from his left, and that he knew this.
Sommers says that “Einstein… managed to consciously tame his own unconscious mind,” and quotes him: “The business of logical thinking is strictly limited to the achievement of the connection between concepts and propositions… which are the concern of logic. The concepts and propositions get ‘meaning’, viz. ‘content’, only through their connection with sense experiences. The connection of the latter with the former is purely intuitive not itself of a logical nature.” This statement is the nub of the book.
Will the cure work? The message is certainly an old one: somewhere along the line we have lost hold of the fundamental need to love ourselves and each other. If this were our primary focus we would long since have seen the weapons of annihilation for what they are — tangible extensions of our fear, our hate, our mistrust. Or, as a wise friend once observed when I told her I was working in the peace movement, before we set out to change the world we each need to do a lot of personal work on our hearts and minds.
The authors’ detractors will probably dismiss this book as slick and gimmicky. Others will see it as cloud~ cuckoo-land, or will be alienated by some of the sexual explicitness (The rebuttal is obvious; you must not read this book from your left brain!)
However, one is struck by the authors’ erudition, and by their conviction. Professionally they have had demonstrable success with the most desperate of patients. They have some justification in believing that their skills lie in helping us to improve our ‘“feeling” selves~’ I recently heard Dr. Sommers on the radio being interviewed on his research with school children, and the despair and fear that undermine their lives. Sommers said that it is imperative that we move from pessimism and resignation to optimism and affirmation of life because the world is what we perceive it to be. How terrifying, and how hopeful!
This book will reach those who are depressed by horrific scenarios. It’s readable, informative, and, despite the urgency of the message, optimistic. And even if the prescription seems improbable, we could have fun trying!!
Tana Dineen — November 1984
TORONTO — Professor Dorothy Thompson, a lecturer in history at the University of Birmingham and a long time British peace activist, gave an informal talk on October 1st at the University of Toronto. The talk was sponsored by the UofT Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UCAM). Dr. Thompson commented on recent directions of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).
The focus of the discussion was the continuing struggle by the women protestors at the Greenham Common US Air Force base in Berkshire, England, at which US cruise missiles have recently been deployed. The protest began once the base had been designated as a deployment centre in the wake of the 1979 NA TO decision to locate cruise and Pershing weapons in Europe if the Soviets did not remove their SS20 missiles from Eastern Europe. The “Greenham Women” participate in civil disobedience-type protests, operating without any real leader or organizational structure.
Dr. Thompson has not participated directly in the Greenham Camp, but is a vocal advocate of the cause, and has joined in larger one day protests at the base. She has also paid fines incurred by her daughter-in-law, a long-time participant.
Dr. Thompson described in moving terms a protest involving thousands of women who encircled the base in a huge human chain. While the camp often appears squalid due to inclement weather and primitive conditions (made all the more so by persistent official harassment), she contrasted” the women “with their colourful clothes and banners, and playing children with the drabness and greyness of the base and its armed guards”
Recent attempts by the local council and” the national government to evict the women have resulted in increased support and publicity for their cause, Dr. Thompson reported. The women recently won a High Court ruling allowing them to camp within 20 feet of the nearby A339 road, contrary to the hopes of the Ministry of Transport. However, Dr. Thompson admitted that ‘the Thatcher government is determined to eventually remove the camp to meet the requests of irate local ratepayers and to keep in line with government policy.
Dr. Thompson maintained that the “protest was an act of theatre which created a powerful image and symbolic presence. It does not “present a sinister appearance to the public and the police~ and therefore it would be politically unwise “to publicly exercise violence against the women~. This was part of the rationale for keeping the camp a preserve of women only.
Dr. Thompson premised her continued support for the peace movement in Britain on her philosophy, which is “based on “pessimism of the intellect versus the optimism of the will. Although totally avoiding nuclear was would seem to be irrational, given the perilous state of the world, one must persevere using the strength of the will to overcome pessimism. “
According to Dr. Thompson, some unilateral action by the British government, such as a reduction or elimination of Britain’s nuclear forces, “would aid the cause of reducing nuclear proliferation.
Unfortunately, Dr. Thompson declared, “the Tory government (in Britain) is intent on pursuing a nuclear programme including purchase of Trident nuclear submarines, and will be in office untiI1988.~ However, the opposition Labour and Liberal parties have said they will send back the cruise and cancel Trident.
In concluding her talk, Dr. Thompson proposed that “the optimism of the will~ must encourage those who seek an end to the nuclear madness, both in Europe and North America.
— November 1984
Toronto — Nuclear war is the most pressing health hazard ever to threaten mankind. Not surprisingly, health professionals are awakening to the terrifying possibility, and viewing prevention of ‘the final epidemic’ as both a personal and a professional responsibility.
On September 12, 1984, Dr. Christopher Ross chaired an open forum in Toronto on the role of health professionals in the prevention of nuclear war. Participating on the panel were Gordon Hardacre, Family Practice Unit, Toronto General Hospital, and Chairperson, Physicians for Social Responsibility (Toronto); Susan Goldberg, Associate Prof. of Psychology/Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Research Psychologist at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, and a member of Psychologists for Social Responsibility; Grace Ross, Supervisor, Public Health Nursing, City of North York; and Nico Trocme, Children’s Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto, and a Board Member of Social Workers for Peace.
Dr. Hardacre outlined the history of the physicians’ group, from the beginning in Boston in the early 60’s, through the formation of the international group, and development of the Canadian one. The Canadian group, founded in Toronto by psychiatrist, Dr. Frank Sommers, now has about 2,000 members.
Most of the energy expended to date, in Canada and around the world, has been on educating health professionals, politicians, and the public about the medical consequences of nuclear war. Many physicians have addressed government leaders, spoken at public meetings, and now have in their own waiting rooms information pamphlets about the nuclear issue.
Dr. Goldberg spoke about reaching audiences within professional circles and noted the opportunities which members of Psychologists for Social Responsibility are taking to raise the nuclear issue at meetings of provincial, national, and international psychological associations. She said that her colleagues are now beginning to apply at a global level their expertise in areas such as conflict resolution, stress management, and mental health research.
As well as working to involve colleagues and to apply knowledge, Dr. Goldberg sees psychologists, along with other professionals, as playing a role in correcting the media-created ‘radical fringe’ image of people involved in the peace movement.
Ms. Ross discussed the growing visibility of nurses in the peace movement in the context of a changing image of nurses within the profession itself. She contrasted the traditionally subservient role played by nurses in the past with the lively questioning now going on. There is an organization of nurses for prevention of nuclear war in the United States and groups are now forming in cities across Canada.
Mr. Trocme briefly outlined the history of Social Workers for Peace. Social workers, like physicians and psychologists, are taking the nuclear issue to meetings of their professional organizations. He cited the immediate human costs of the arms race as one area on which his colleagues tend to focus. He presented some data from Ruth Sivard’s World Military and Social Expenditures Report and discussed some preliminary work on translating these figures into ones which are meaningful locally.
Mr. Trocme pointed out, for example, that the Canadian government has ordered 105 fighter planes at a cost of close to 20 million dollars each. The budget for a large city hospital is about 40 million dollars or two fighter planes. The budget for all the Toronto hostels for the homeless which shelter 2,300 people daily is 15 million dollars, which is less than one fighter plane.
After the presentations, the audience of about 50 addressed questions to the panel and participated in discussion groups. The topic of marching in public demonstrations received considerable attention, and the possibility of health professionals marching together under a single banner was raised. People seemed to feel that this could increase numbers and visibility. Some also saw maintaining a respectable image at such events as important;. however, it was agreed that humanness (and comfort) here as everywhere should take precedence over professionalism.
The people attending this meeting worked hard to cross over traditional professional boundaries (in some ways as dangerous as national ones) and to find ways to work effectively together. The forum seemed in some respects to signal the beginning of closer cooperation among certain professional peace groups in Toronto.
These groups (and other groups now joining with them) are working together to C(}-sponsor an event on November 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Friends’ House, 60 Lowther Avenue. The topic is Canada’s Strategies for Prevention of Nuclear War.
This November 19 event represents a conscious effort to keep the nuclear issue alive in post-election times. A representative from the External Affairs Department and two opposition critics will be there to respond to questions from the panel and the audience. Anyone interested in receiving further information may contact Nico Trocme at xxx-xxxx.
— November 1984
- The Winnipeg Coordinating Committee for Disarmament has begun a campaign to make Manitoba a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone, Martin Zeilig reports. They think their chances are good. The provincial government is already open to the idea.
- Wilma Needham has sent forth a call for proposals for Women and Peace, an exhibition of visual art to take place late next year. The exhibition will feature visual art by women from across Canada to survey their resistance to militarism in the nuclear age. 1985 is the end of a United Nations decade for women. During this time, women’s voices and actions have emerged as key expressions of the outrage towards a war mentality, she says. The work selected may include drawing, photography, textiles, posters, video, collage, documentation of performance, etc. The key factor is the focus on women’s struggle for peace. Letters of proposal are due January 15, 1985. Applicants will be informed by March 1, 1985, on the results of the review of proposals. Send proposals’ to The Art Gallery, attention: Wilma Needham, Women and Peace, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, NS, B3M 2J6, or write for more information.
- Representatives of diverse Canadian youth organizations are uniting their efforts to form the Preparatory Committee of Canada for .the 12thWorld Festival of Youth and Students. This Committee, which includes student, political, solidarity, cultural and peace organizations, will be working to organize a representative delegation of young people from all regions of Canada to participate in the coming Moscow festival to be held from July 27th to August 3rd, 1985.
Canadian youth representatives of various. political, philosophical, religious and cultural interests are invited to become involved in the Preparatory Committee. For more information, contact Vicky Holloway, 290 Danforth. Ave., Toronto — xxx-xxxx (mornings) and xxx-xxxx (evenings) — or Montserrat Escola, 4368 Clark St., Montreal — xxx-xxxx (evenings).
- Job Opportunity: Christian Movement for Peace (CMP) in Toronto requires an office coordinator for 3 days/week starting December I, 1984 to January I, 1985 (negotiable). Requires skills in volunteer recruitment and development, office administration, bookkeeping, and accurate typing. Detailed description on request. Salary $10,200. Closing date November 12, 1984. Call xxx-xxxx.
- Karen Thorpe (xxx-xxxx) is looking for contributions from children for Parents for Peace newsletter. Cartoons, articles, pictures, etc.
- In 1982, the Turkish government, acting under the terms of martial law, arrested the fourteen members of the executive committee of the Turkish Peace Association. They had worked against the neutron bomb and were at that time opposing the Pershing II and cruise missiles.
The 14 were accused of communist activities. Some were accused of having ties with the World Peace Council. Quite apart from whether membership in such an organization ought to be considered a criminal offense, the testimony of their friends suggests that it was not actually the case. Instead, they seem to have been mainly idealistic, liberal people who attended a World Peace Council meeting and, without making any commitment to that organization, found their names subsequently listed as officers.
The fourteen were tried in 1983, but on a legal technicality the outcome of this trial is still pending and they remain in jail. Further information can be obtained from Helsinki Watch in New York City. Phone 212/xxx-xxxx.
- NATO’s war games have been taking place in the air over Labrador, greatly to the distress of the inhabitants of that land, the Innu people. The planes carry out loud simulated battles, terrifying the children, disturbing the caribou, and spewing some kind of chemicals that sicken people and damage the lakes and rivers.
The Innu people have asked that these .activities be stopped, but have been told that the war games cannot be carried out in Europe because that continent is too densely populated.
Those who support the rights of the Innu people have been circulating the following petition:
“We the undersigned ask that the violation of the rights of the Innu people, as represented by the unauthorized conversion of Ntesinan (the Quebec Labrador Peninsula) into a special military training area for low-level, high-speed, flying exercises and bombing practice by foreign armed forces, be halted immediately to prevent further traumatization of Innu families in the interior, to cease the ecologically irresponsible disruption of one of the world’s last great natural areas, and to prevent yet more damage to the caribou and other species upon which the Innu people depend. We ask that exercises and training by the Luftwaffe, USAF, RAF, Canadian Forces, and other foreign armed forces over Ntesinan stop forthwith and plans to establish bombing ranges in Innu territory be scrapped.”
Innu Kanantuapatshet Sheshashit, Labrador AOP 1MO
For further information, call Peter Armitage, 709/xxx-xxxx.
OTTAWA — William Barton, former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations, was selected chairman of the Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security October 3. Margaret Fulton, President of Mount SI. Vincent University, Halifax was selected vice-chairman. The selections were made by their colleagues on the Board of Directors of the Institute.
In a press conference following the meeting, Barton explained that the Directors had preliminary discussions about the nature of the Institute and that no major decisions had been made. The first priority of the Directors will be to elect an Executive Director. The Executive Director will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the Institute, and will be the one most likely to set the tone for the Institute’s future.
No decision has yet been made on the location of the Institute, though Barton indicated that the Board will recommend it be set up in Ottawa. Beyond that, the Institute is not yet able to begin operating.
“At the moment all we have is a filing cabinet full of people who want jobs and proposals for things we should do, no mechanism to cope with them, nobody to even answer the mail, no phone, no office and, until we get that set up, obviously we arc not in a position to engage in the other kinds of discussions.” Barton said.
The Board of Directors will meet again on November 2nd.