Oct-Dec 2022: Vol.38 No.4

Struggle to Save Two Forests — in Russia and Ukraine … 6

It was Stalin (of all people!) who protected forests in the Soviet Union — and it was Putin (of course!) who ended such conservation, writes John Bacher. The Russian activists who tried to keep a highway from slicing through the Khimki Forest have had to flee or were beaten up. But in Ukraine activists saved a forest known as Protasiv Yar by having it declared a green zone.

Walking the Walk: Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace … 8

Year after year, laments Paul Meyer, the UN’s General Assembly has had an item on the agenda to develop rules for international security in cyber space — but the task is never done. A newer approach was to establish Open Ended Working Groups to tackle the issue, but these have never yet reached agreement. We need a forum to discuss cyber security issues on a regular basis.

United Nations’ Triple Nexus: Humanitarian, Development, and Peace … 10

Humanitarian aid, development, and peace are completely interdependent projects, James C. Simeon reminds us. But the third pillar — peace — is the most fundamental, for we cannot achieve the other two without it.

Escalation or Reconciliation: Options for Ukraine … 12

In a war, when both sides are unable to win, they keep upping the ante to get the other side to back down, notes Marc Pilisuk. This pattern is obvious now in Ukraine. But how can this escalation be stopped? One side has to initiate conciliatory steps. One potential measure would be to adopt a policy of “no first use” of nuclear weapons.

Deception for the Sake of Truth: Mikhail Gorbachev … 14

Mikhail Gorbachev’s projects — peace, human rights, freedom of speech, and democracy — were subverted by others, Metta Spencer insists. Some obituaries call him a failure — but what a spectacular contribution he offered to humankind. Imagine how the world would look today if others had recognized the value of his proposals!

Victor Orban’s Eyes May be Bigger Than His Stomach … 24

The prime minister of Hungary is making speeches now alleging that “mixed-race countries” are no longer real nations. His mean-spirited political ambitions, notes James M. Dorsey, nevertheless are expansionist, and he seems to have his eyes on Transylvania in Romania, which he calls the Hungarian motherland!

When the Bubble Pops: Catching COVID Babies Before the Fall … 26

Babies born during the COVID pandemic have no understanding of normal social life. They have been isolated in bubbles. Child-care centres and other supports, including extended family relations, have been forbidden. Such social isolation has been shown, writes Vinay Jindal, to impair the cognitive development of children.

Remembering Chandler Davis … 27

Chandler Davis, Professor Emeritus, born in Ithaca NY, passed away on 24 September 2022 at the age of 96. A founding member of Science for Peace, Chandler was, as Professor Noam Chomsky stated recently, “a rare individual, a model of courage and integrity through dark and difficult times.” He received his PhD at Harvard University in 1950 and had been a faculty member of the University of Michigan and at Columbia University.

Will 2022 Mark the Turning Point in the Climate Crisis? … 28

In the first half of this year, the world was failing the challenge to reduce global warming, partly because recovery from the pandemic was beginning. Then in August, the US passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which was not so much about inflation as climate, writes John Feffer. And the year’s not over yet.

Nuclear Power is Incompatible with World Peace … 30

If the Zaporizhzhia power plant blows up, Ole Hendrickson notes, the communities in the path of the fallout won’t be discussing whether to blame Russia or Ukraine. Nuclear power is incompatible with world peace.

The Tenth NPT Review Conference: Doomed to Failure? … 31

When the 1995 conference decided to continue the NPT indefinitely, Tariq Rauf writes, they did not tell the nuclear weapons states that they could keep their weapons indefinitely. But some diplomats have conveniently forgotten this, so the 2022 conference was doomed from the start.

Another View of the NPT Review Conference … 33

John Hallam doesn’t consider the recent NPT review conference a failure. They watered the language down as usual, but the document that was almost adopted was stronger than in previous conferences. It would have passed too, except for Russia’s objections.

DEPARTMENTS:
Newsworthy … 2
Editorial … 4
Letters … 5
Obituary … 27
Reviews … 37
Current Controversies … 40
Talk Show Directory … 42

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Peace Magazine v38n4p04: From the Editor

From the Editor

President Putin says he’s not bluffing: He will use nuclear weapons. Indeed, his recklessness was already fully established. Activists who foresaw his response to Russia’s war failures have prevailed on Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping (perhaps the only people with sufficient power) to deter Putin. Both of them did try to moderate him at the recent meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

But Putin was undeterred. On September 21 (the “International Day of Peace”) he proclaimed willingness to annex four Ukrainian provinces to Russia and launched the “partial mobilization” of 300,000 citizens to defend the “territorial integrity” of Russia, including with nuclear weapons.

Now, dear peace worker, what response should we promote? Too long the world delayed adopting stronger measures to enforce international law, hoping or assuming that no ruler would be crazy enough to launch nuclear war. Now we have three feeble options:

a) Ask Ukraine and Russia to resume negotiations. (They won’t.)
b) Encourage internal Russian opposition to the war. Offer international support to soldiers who defect and new conscripts who escape. Alexey Navalny has named 6,000 Russian officials who are essential to the effective continuation of the war. Put international sanctions on them all until they replace Putin as leader with someone who will end the war.
c) Call upon the International Criminal Court to indict Putin as a war criminal for rejecting the ICJ’s order to stop the invasion. Then invoke the “Uniting for Peace” resolution of 1950 whereby whenever “the Security Council, because of a lack of unanimity among its five permanent members (P5), fails to act as required to maintain international security and peace, the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately and may issue appropriate recommendations to UN members for collective measures, including the use of armed force when necessary, in order to maintain or restore international security and peace.”

An appropriate measure in this case would be to notify Russia that no indicted war criminal may head a member State and so Russia must remove Putin from office and install a leader who will obey international law.

“Option A” is not compatible with “Options B or C” but both B and C could be adopted. Which is more promising? Actually, neither — but probably “Option B” is more achievable now. But let’s make the UN Charter authorize Option C.

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