Weapons are a necessary, though not a sufficient, cause of war. Oddly, some people feel more secure with a loaded pistol, artillery gun, or nuclear warhead in their holster, We need to convince them that they are safer when unarmed. Several of our stories are about weapons and the pride that goes with possessing them. On the Newsworthy pages, we find the U.S. army arrogantly testing weapons in Nanoose Bay and abusing those who oppose their program. A short distance away, we find the skies above Abbotsford full of warplanes showing their stuff to awe-struck onlookers. In the "Testing" article, we turn to the South Pacific, where we find the French testing their nuclear bombs, and to China, where the Chinese are doing the same thing, notwithstanding the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Yet there are other spirits in our midst, and we ought to honor them. The Doukhobors, for example, decided 100 years ago that Christ really meant what he said in the Sermon on the Mount, and that they, as Christians, ought to obey. They simply collected their weapons and burned them. The Russian authorities, deeply offended by such behavior, punished the Doukhobors virtually to the point of genocide. However, the great novelist and pacifist, Leo Tolstoy, paid for their escape with his royalties, irritating his wife and jeopardizing his marital harmony by helping them resettle in Canada. A Canadian Doukhobor choir has been traveling in celebration of this historic anniversary. Now if they will just go sing their peace songs for President Chirac, the U.S. Marines at Nanoose, and the crowd at the Abbotsford Airshow!
Robert Muller came to Toronto recently, celebrating the U.N's fiftieth anniversary. Muller is chancellor of the University for Peace in Costa Rica - a worthy organization that every country ought to support. To our shame, the Canadian government refuses to offer a cent to this wonderful institution. Some are blitzing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with letters of complaint.