I would like for peace groups to demand that Communism vs. Capitalism be a subject of TV debate around the world. Naturally, the U.S. and USSR would be paired, as would Canada and, say Cuba, and so on. This would make people aware that both systems have their good and bad points, and that there are also similarities and points of agreement. Please float the idea in your magazine and measure the response.
Ed Simpson, Apsley, Ontario
As an aging peacenik I have been stirred to a new action by the proposal to extend the Canadian Forces Base at Goose Bay, Labrador. Low-level flight training of pilots to fly under the radar into East Europe and the Soviet Union may be expanded into a NATO base -- the first in the Western Hemisphere. This is a dangerous provocation, reflecting a first strike mentality, but some justify it as a job creator.
Therefore I have begun a modest campaign by mail, telephone, and speaking visits to support the brothers and sisters in many parts of Canada who are opposing the militarization of our economy and government. More war goods, subsidized for export, more bases, more tests, more overflights, more visits of nuclear carriers, more Canadian investment going to the U.S. for superprofits in war industry -- all this deprives Canadians of opportunities for a democratically controlled economy, defence policy, and foreign policy. More military secrecy is eroding Parliament's control over our government.
I have sent out three mass mailings, including a petition to Parliament against the Goose Bay low level flight program, and I have spoken against militarization in Winnipeg and Nova Scotia, and plan to speak during January in Victoria, Vancouver, and St. John's Newfoundland. I hope the NDP federal convention at Montréal in March, following the lead of Bishop Remi de Roo and of the Edmonton "True North Strong and Free" Conference, will provide a broad forum for this debate. Gwynne Dyer's idea of nonalignment and a demilitarized Arctic are worth exploring. If any in the peace movement see ways I can work with you for the building of peaceful alternatives to militarization, please phone me at 613/ 992-5685 or write me at 925 Confederation Building, House of Commons, Ottawa K1A 0A6. (Postage not needed.)
Dan Heap, M.P. Spadina
I take issue with the blithe overlooking of socio-cultural realities in the article "Blaming the Boys" (Dec/ Jan). The authors assert, without evidence, that because some women batter their children, fight in combat, and use militant tactics, women can be blamed for violence as much as men can.
What the authors fail to recognize is that the world is patriarchal. Denying systemic faults, rather than identifying them, will not help any of us. We must continue the struggle for peace. Let us all work to change the social and cultural processes which are to blame for the development of those people who have created and now dominate the military-industrial complex.
Nancy K. Brown, Montréal