SO INTENSE is the normal level of drama during the recent and current months that we have somehow not managed to cover the unilateral arms cuts pledged by both the United States and the Soviet Union since we last went to press. These are not trivial reductions-even the U.S. cuts, although they are mostly the elimination of redundant or old nuclear weapons. Five years ago we would have been thunderstruck by these contributions. Today we are hardly surprised at anything new in East/West relations, and we almost forget to mention the opening rounds of a "reverse arms race." Thanks, George and Mikhail. Next, please, a CTBT!
Moreover, some of us have been pleased by our own Canadian government's positions during the past few weeks. For one thing, Prime Minister Mulroney has urged the West to lose no more time in providing aid to the Soviets. And he bravely floated another trial balloon as well-to tie Canadian aid to the human rights records of the recipients.
We have good news about some honors-the Pearson medal and the Nobel Peace Prize. We have accounts of the Soviet coup from people who were there- Lev Semeiko and Julia Kalinina. Otherwise, however, many of our stories this time are sobering. There are, for example, the desperate people of Sri Lanka and of what used to be Yugoslavia.
Correction: In the last issue we passed on an unconfirmed report about the coup (from a friend's e-mail) that Yeltsin had arranged for Gene Sharp's 198 means of non-violent resistance to be circulated in the crowd around the Russian parliament. In fact, it was a peace group that did so, not Yeltsin's people. Gene Sharp's staff checked into the story and learned that 1500-2000 copies were produced. Some were handed out, others pasted on lamp posts, others put up in women's washrooms, and so on.