From the Editor
- Thanks to all the supporters who wrote on our behalf to the Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security. The CIIPS hoard has adapted their policy regarding sustaining grants to publications, and we have good reason to hope for a modest subsidy sometime in the future. This will give us a little more time to work on fundraising ourselves.
- It's time to reflect on the implications of our "open forum" editorial policy. Sometimes topics are raised at weekly editorial meetings and assigned to someone on our list of regular writers, who all serve without compensation. Mainly, however, we select the best pieces from an abundance of unsolicited manuscripts. Although at least two editors read the material selected and glaring errors are checked, it is obvious that we have at times relied too much on the ability of the author to get the facts straight Twice lately we have printed errors: (a) Colin Mc Kinlay, in the December/January issue said that parts of the MX missile are being built by Boeing in Winnipeg; and (b)Andrew Van Velzen's letter to the editor in the April/May issue said that Ambassador Douglas Roche had endorsed the United States's bombing of Libya. The Winnipeg disarmament movement pointed out, with appropriate indignation, that the former statement is baseless. We apologize.
The item about Mr. Roche calls for extra soul-searching. We editors should have phoned him to determine whether it was true. We regret not having done so. Eight thousand copies of this falsehood were printed and sent around the world. No retraction can undo all its harmful consequences. Misinformation affects everyone -not only those maligned by it.
Peaceable Journalism Requires Accuracy
The means used in pursuing peace should always be consistent with the goal. The press helps sustain justice and good government by shining a spotlight on the mistakes of politicians. Ideally, however, a peace magazine will do this in a way that leaves room for them to acknowledge their mistakes and change their ways with dignity. But you should see some of the vitriolic letters people want us to publish! Why should public figures need skins too thick to be hurt by abuse? Do we want politicians who are insensitive? Unfeeling leaders make poor judgments.
I can promise you that PEACE Magazine will make other errors in the future- a prediction based on the fact that we are human. So is Douglas Roche. So, even, is Ronald Reagan. Not only is self-righteousness unwarranted when we criticize others (as we must do) but it defeats our own effectiveness.
To win our campaign against nuclear weapons, we must persuade those who disagree with us instead of making them into permanent opponents. We need practice in what Ann Gertler calls "tough love" - criticizing our friends when they need it - and criticizing our enemies as if they were friends.
Peacemaking begins by acknowledging our errors. Accordingly, we're going to reserve a small space in each issue hereafter for corrections and clarifications. We invite you to call inaccuracies to our attention briefly, please!) so we can straighten them out in succeeding issues. The column this time includes some small points left over from a long time ago. And if any previous inaccuracies still rankle with you, please tell us.
Corrections And Clarifications
- April/May 88, p.6. Blumenfeld's autobiography was published in 1987, not 1986.
- April/ May 88, p.26. The U.N. Special Session on Disarmament III runs from May 31 to June 25. Disarmament and development will be the first item on the agenda. The U.S. will block the inclusion of the document, not its place on the agenda.
- Arthur Porer (Oct/Nov. 86, p.21), Claire Percy (June/July 87, p.41) and Robert Penner (April/May 88, p.26) did not wish credit as authors of the pieces attributed to them. Forer was listed as co-author because he had co-authored an article on which the PEACE article was based. Perry and Penner were credited as authors because their respective articles were printed as transcribed verbatim from their responses to telephone inquiries.
- Feb/Mar. 88, p.24. To Win a Nuclear War: The Pentagon's Secret War Plans by Kaku and Axekod was listed as a South End Press book. True, but in Canada it is published by Black Rose.
- April/ May 88, p.3. Barry Stevens's name is misspelled.
- Feb/Mar 88, p.4. Disarmament Campaigns staff should be identified as on p.22, April/May 88 issue. Apologies to all.