The contents of this issue reflect the routine nature of day-to-day peace work. For a few - notably Mordechai Vanunu - it is a heroic struggle. We present an edited version of Vanunu's letter to the magazine, and we urge you all to write him, espressing encouragement and thanks.
For many of us, though, peace work is a lifelong commitment that involves both work on urgents threats to the whole planet - notably the continuing development of nuclear arms - and on "middle-range" conflicts in local areas. Shirley Farlinger lends her humorous touch to a heavy subject, National Missile Defence, and we also describe Science for Peace's project to inform parliamentarians about the possible effects of this new technology.
Most of this issue, however, is about the middle-range issues of peace work today in foreign countries. John Feffer and Karin Lee, who often go to North Korea for the American Friends Service Committee, describe their work and the way in which it is contributing to the breakthroughs that are becoming evident in that country.
When we turn to Africa, however, we find less reason for optimism. Abdul Omar's article discusses the challenges of providing security to human beings in a continent where governmental and military leaders are more typically concerned about their own interests than those of their societies. Omar sees the development of civil society as a promising way of addressing these difficulties.
Next Michelle Renay Johnson shows us Colombia, where a civil war drags on and American military aid exacerbates environmental problems and the difficulties of small farmers whose land is taken over by drug lords.
Our longest article is an interview with Seymour Martin Lipset about the importance of democracy for the expansion of human economic development and peace.
Betty Scott's piece draws our attention to the dangers wrought by western corporations - especially oil businesses - on the Third World. And, among the remaining articles, we see Amor's advice how peace can finally come to the troubled land of the Israelis and the Palestinians.