David Mandel and Eric Shragge (Points of View, May 1985) claim that it would be impossible for Canada to both oppose the United States and remain within NATO. But this is not so: Greece and Norway are both against many American policies and still remain in NATO. And if, as is more than likely, the German Social Democratic Party wins the next election and seeks to moderate NATO policy, then do Mandel and Shragge seriously suggest that the U.S. will try to drum West Germany out of NATO? Constitutionally, nothing prevents Canada from adopting a more independent policy: what is lacking is the political will.
Moreover, NATO policies cannot be changed from without. They can only be altered by pressure from member states within. Canadian withdrawal may give moral satisfaction to some-it may even give impetus to a broad ranging strategy to alter Canadian "socio-economic and political structures;" but it won't change a dangerous NATO policy which, if unchecked, will lead to nuclear war. Surely it is far better for Canada to stay within NATO on the possibility that it can do something to restrain the Americans than to stay out with the consequence of being unable to affect NATO's policy for the better.
University of Ottawa
Jennifer Kinloch's item (Points of View, June 1985) names as Vancouver's problems the same ones that we in Winnipeg encounter in dealing with the media. The press generally underestimates the turnout at peace events, although they differ among themselves too. On this year's Walk for Peace, both CBC and CTV gave good coverage and fair estimates -- between 15-30,000. The Canadian Press's estimates were very bad. They put it at 5,000, whereas even the police said 12,000.
Some of us on the organizing committee went down to the Canadian Press office and wrote a note. We think it had some effect, since the Globe and Mail had a small item on the walk on Monday
Part of the responsibility of the peace movement is to monitor the media and do something when they are off. Don't let them get away with it without attempting to rectify their mistakes. Make sure we have commit-tees of people specifically writing letters to the editor, correcting errors. We went down to meet with the editor of the Winnipeg Free Press and showed him a film on Star Wars. These actions count!
Martin Zeilig Winnipeg