While, as your editorial [Dec. 1988/ Jan. 1989] opines "most major faith communities have taken a stand for nuclear disarmament," this stand seems to be only on a national level.
In real trouble-spots, e.g. Central America, the clergy courageously risk their lives at the hands of the military and death squads for peace and justice. In our community, however, " timid spiritual leaders" avoid offending any of the congregation who may not share their anti-nuclear views. In my community, the West Island area of Montréal, there are 35 churches and one synagogue. Of those, a mere two have declared themselves to be nuclear weapons-free zones. Until these people are willing to stand up and be counted, [they should not] claim to be spiritual leaders.
Wayne Morel, Pointe Claire, Québec
How can you place the message PEACE on the streets so that hundreds of people see the message every day? It's easy! Go to your motor vehicle license bureau and order a personalized vehicle license plate, based on the word PEACE. True, there is a one-time cost of $100 per personalized license plate (in Ontario). But you keep the plates for your lifetime and move them to any new cars you happen to buy. So let's have the roads full of PEACE!
Don E. McAllister, Ottawa
Please be kinder in your articles and editorials about the Soviets. They have been very afraid of us since the cold war began. Look at their voting record in the UNO for 40 years. You seemed so surprised by Gorbachev! (How could such a bad lot get such a good leader?)
And the Moscow Trust Group isn't the only legitimate peace group in the East (or the non-official groups in Eastern Europe). Why so much about adult dissident (Human Rights) groups in Czechoslovakia? Our own native people are struggling for Human Rights
Richard N. Piper, Hull, Québec
I found the article by D. Roussopoulos and the interview with peace activists Simon Rosenblum et al about the future of the peace movement most interesting. Our Trail District Peace Action group has almost faded away in the past couple of years. It's as if, because we haven't had a nuclear war, there is now no need for peace activity.
We were able to get some signatures for the Peace Pledge campaign, we persuaded four committees to hold a nuclear weapons free zone referendum (successfully) and saw the city council pass a bylaw. But it was done with very few of us involved. Maybe as the peace movement is fading, it is easier to talk peace with politicians (local politicians, that is).
M. Mitchell Fridulilo, Trail, B.C.
Jane Mayes' interview (Dec/ Jan. p. 30) with Soviet Peace Committee leader and former World Peace Council (WPC) Secretary, Tair Tairov was remarkable. It provided a revealing, though selective, expose of the history of the WPC. Unfortunately it did not confront the sordid history of the WPC as the principal conduit for Stalinism in the world peace movement over forty years.
Tairov's remarks were courageous nonetheless. His willingness to critically re-evaluate the WPC to the extent he did is particularly admirable when compared with the failure of the followers of the WPC in Canada to do the same. Were these apologists for Stalinism to do this it would require them to admit having worked to effectively control the agenda of the Canadian peace movement by inserting their cadre into key positions within peace organizations. They would also have to admit to having tried to defame and marginalize those of us who embraced such heresies as END, which Tair Tairov praises now.
Bruce Allen, St. Catharines, Ont.
It is most disturbing to read in Disarmament Campaigns that Mr. Tairov reportedly lost his job after his bold interview was published. Sad. It was the clearest example of glasnost yet. [Ed.]
There was splendid material in the February issue but the review of "The Road to Peace" edited by Regehr and Rosenblum was not part of it. Because Mr. Bacher doesn't like the authors' road to peace doesn't mean there isn't one -- A.J. Muste notwithstanding. It is difficult to possess Muste's peace when the globe is armed to the teeth. There was nothing "grandiose" about this book on possible paths out of our jungle of nuclear perversion. It contains a wealth of facts on the technological arms race, thoughtful analysis, and healthy prescription. Mr. Bacher, in pressing his own point of view, missed it. Book reviewing requires more objectivity. The focus on verification is one of the book's strong points. That is what it's all about in the real world, whether Mr. Bacher sees it or not.
Edward J. Napier, Montréal, Québec