The only suggestion I have to make re Peace Magazine is: get the readers writing to the government or whomever is concerned. I read the latest issue and I am itching to follow up by writing but I have no addresses (and names) or excerpts of what to write.
The latest issue was very interesting. Good luck.
Cabrina Fortune Vancouver, B.C.
I am horrified to learn that the magazine's subscriptions are dropping. I can't believe this is due to the end of the Cold War. Surely people who subscribe to Peace know better. Clearly we are back to the situation prior to WWI, with these umpteen aggressive national units armed to the teeth, with fingers in each others' pies. WWI broke out because a pan-Slav anarchist shot a Hapsburg prince in Sarajevo, Bosnia. (Look at Bosnia today). I'd rather blame your drop in subscriptions on your readers' hardships due to the depression.
In my view Peace Magazine's forte is multiple perspectives. Where else can you read articles by intelligent peace activists from all over the world? The "common vision" we need can only come from absorbing multiple perspectives.
Andrew Kapos, Hollywood, Florida
A flying answer to "What's Peace Magazine's Future?" I love you just as you are. I always learn a great deal from each issue. The magazine is most important to me to stay in touch.
Best Wishes. Joanna Santa Barbara, Toronto, Ontario
Rob Prince's article, "The Ghostship of Lonnrotinkatu," in your current edition, is both astonishing and absolutely politically dishonest. I say that as a peace activist in Canada from 1949 to the present, an eighteen-year member of the National Executive of the Canadian Peace Congress, and a member of the Secretariat of the World Peace Council in Helsinki until the beginning of 1981. In that last capacity I attended various peace conferences around the world as the World Peace Council sought desperately to turn back the arms race that had grown to such gargantuan proportions by the end of the 1970s.
If Prince, who spent five years at the WPC, his family with him in Helsinki, and being educated at WPC expense, did not know the facts of the financing of the WPC, I believe he would be the only member of that body ever to claim such blissful ignorance.
As for Prince's "revelations" regarding his totally unsubstantiated charges of an "admission" by Ray Stewart of "close to 2.2 million Canadian" coming from the "former socialist countries," it seems Prince knows a pile of garbage when he sees one, and is eager to feast upon such fare. Even if true, does Prince not know of any other institutions that "shipped out" not millions but billions of dollars.) to overthrow the elected government of Allende; to cripple Iran, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Nicaragua, and on and on in an endless list of foreign interventions, wars and destabilizations around the world?
Prince could not other than know this. But now he places himself in the company of the Kissingers, Reagans, Haigs and Johnsons, who fought with any and every means to dissolve the USSR.
R.L. Stevenson, Toronto, Ontario
Rob Prince's 'The Ghost Ship of Lonnrotinkatu: The Catabolism of the World Peace Council-Part I is the nastiest piece of work we have ever seen. It could seriously undermine the work and the reputation of all associated with the work of peace, not just the World Peace Council. As you must be well aware the peace movement is largely run on volunteer time and effort and is very loosely knit with administrative, communication and other difficulties at every level including that of our Canadian national peace organizations, not by any means just in the World Peace Council, and yet through it all we push on and do what we can, as well as we can, to make a difference for peace in the world.
In this respect the World Peace Council is doing some good work. The WPC organized an emergency conference in Athens to try to avert the Gulf War. The conference provided up-to-date information on peace actions protesting the imminent war from Japan to the streets of France and England and did much to build solidarity and awareness that we are not alone in our convictions and work-both of which became essential to helping us all get through the horror of the war. The WPC has considerable respect in the Third World. And its publication, the World Peace News Bulletin, is a valuable source of peace contacts internationally and of grass-roots information on regional conflicts, peace accords, military build-ups, and peace campaigns and conferences.
The second article we take issue with is that on Kashmir. Both the article and the map illustrating it are given purely and completely from a one-sided viewpoint, that of India. It labels the Kashmiri people, struggling for freedom for their homeland, as rebels and fundamentalists, which is not true. In fact the situation bears some resemblance to that of the black population of South Africa, who for 50 years struggled through nonviolent means against growing and totally unacceptable restrictions. The Kashmiri people similarly have struggled for more than 40 years, a population of 5 million with 1/2 million Indian troops permanently stationed on their land. They are an extremely peaceable people and have only recently resorted to armed struggle. Mahatma Gandhi himself said that Kashmir should be allowed its independence. Perhaps you could seek out a Kashmiri authority who could give the 'other side' and so balance your coverage of this important and often unreported peace issue.
Jaki Russell, President, Regina Peace Council
I am absolutely appalled that Rose Dyson (Toyland as Terror Zone, Peace Magazine, May-June 1992) can effectively call for the return of the old Ontario Film Review Board with their unthinking nanny approach to film, the greatest art form to have developed in this century.
The peace movement will not make progress by demanding more censorship. Censorship is the instrument of the oppressors and the warmongers. We must try to avoid being sucked into the contemptible American attempt to find trivial scapegoats for their social failures.
It's a criticism of our educational system, perhaps, that many do not understand the role of graphic art, including cinema. Does the depiction of crucifixion, say, encourage others to emulate the same horror? Or does it do what it is intended to do, broaden our understanding of ourselves and our attitudes? One's emotional reactions to film are not supposed to be the same as one's emotional reactions to the same events in real life. If they were, many films would be unviewable. One of Canada's most significant directors, David Cronenberg, made his initial career with films containing depictions of exploding heads and similar unusual events. Indeed, heads do not explode in such ways in real life-but even more horrible things do happen, and art prepares us to deal with and if necessary to prevent real horrors.
Peter Nicholls, St. Catharines, Ontario
P.S. War toys may be a slightly different matter-but we need to keep our categories separated effectively.