It was good to read John Bacher's discussion of Poland's Freedom and Peace movement (PEACE, June I July, 1986, p 23). He mentions that the group "invites Western peace activists to Poland to sign individual peace treaties with its members." The East German peace activists have the same interest in personal peace treaties. However, it is not necessary to go to Poland or East Germany to sign the peace treaties. There is a coordinating office in the Netherlands which facilitates the exchange. It is:
Vredeswinkel, Martinikerlthof 37, Postbox 1667, 9701 BR Groningen, Netherlands. Phone 050-120-192.
Vredeswinkel is in touch with the Polish groups, who publish the names and addresses of Westerners in an under-ground newspaper. Readers who wish to participate can contact Vredeswinkel and help "break the barrier."
Hans Sinn, The Social Defense Project Perth, Ontario
The Reykjavik meeting has passed, and the follow-up proposals and counter-proposals continue. Those of us who are committed to disarmament should not be disappointed. The way toward peace is complex. In history, the total amount of peace has been short; the rest of the time has been preparation for war or war itself. Worse yet, those nations that have not been militarily prepared for "defence" against aggression, have too often been enslaved or destroyed by the stronger ones who won the war.
But today conditions are completely different. Being militarily strong in no way contributes to our security, and neither could any nation win a nuclear war, regardless of how many nuclear weapons they have. We have to accept the fact that those who are against us--and they are in the majority--are not all stupid. They simply cannot accept that
with the profound technological changes in the military sector, security is not improved but may be worsened) by having more and better weapons.
Human beings rarely accept changes voluntarily. The changes needed to reduce the risk of war are especially complex and even contrary to our natural instincts. People must do more than throw weapons away and hope that others will do likewise.
One requirement will be for governments to have the political will to promote the process. To swing governments to such a position, some crisis will be necessary; we hope it will not be the last one.
This does not mean that we can do nothing in the meantime. Indeed, we must broaden our base, not by attacking others whose opinions differ from ours, but by informing ourselves and discussing with others ways of eliminating war. We must be able to show that today's situation cannot be compared to Chamberlain's appeasement. And we must show that security can be ensured only if the security of our antagonist is also ensured.
Arnold Simoni, Don Mills, Ont.
There is so much information in this paper that one does not find elsewhere, and so much news that is never heard on radio or TV. Thank you for an excellent paper.
Jean Moore, Sherbrooke, N.S.
I don't care how good your magazine is otherwise. As long as you people continue publicizing the Moscow Group for Trust and other "independent" peace groups, I won't renew my subscription.
Jane Hamilton, Winnipeg, Manitoba