The period since our last issue appeared has been a time when many disturbing events have been covered in the mainstream press: the war in Lebanon; the deepening war involving Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan; the Liberal Party debates about foreign policy and military doctrine; the shooting rampage at Dawson College in Montreal. As far as factual information goes, you can keep up-to-date with most of these breaking stories from regular journalists. What Peace Magazine adds to this flood of information is our perspective: a quest for peaceful, constructive solutions to these issues. For example, in this issue, we have Walter Dorn's and Joanna Santa Barbara's articles deploring the declining role of Canada in peacekeeping activities and its increase in war fighting missions. We have Annemarie Wolff's article about the victims of the chemical disaster in Bhopal, India, who are using Gandhian methods to pursue justice -- which even yet has not been won. We have Matt Polacko's analysis of an impending event that may markedly alter the world's economy: the creation of an oil bourse in Iran that will trade in euros instead of dollars. We have John Bacher's critical review of Michael Ignatieff's book, Empire Lite, which reveals the candidate's views on military intervention.
Peace calls attention to problems and solutions which, though growing, are being overlooked in the mainstream press. For example, there's a mounting crisis in Somalia. To be sure, trouble has persisted there for decades, but René Wadlow tells us about new developments that bode ill, with a militant Islamist movement behind them.
Here we also have several stories that convey hope or courage. One such event was a reunion in Castlegar, BC for American draft resisters and their supporters, including such notables as Tom Hayden and George McGovern, who have each spent a lifetime opposing wars -- from Vietnam to Iraq. There's also Lene Mosegaard Søbjerg's article about the much-needed new Peacebuilding Commission at the United Nations. There are two hopeful articles by Kellee Jacobs, Anita Krajnc, Larry Warfel, and Joan Montgomerie about the use of entertainment -- especially films and television stories -- to encourage social change and activism among viewers. And there's a review of Mary-Wynne Ashford's terrific new compilation of solutions. May these good ideas bear fruit.