From the Editor

Are we off to a peaceful millennium? Not in Chechnya. Two of our contributors this time are well-known Russian activists and intellectuals who hold pessimistic views of the war in Chechnya, which is immensely popular with the Russian electorate. Julia Kalinina traces the problems back to ancient differences — the culture of a warrior society whose members feel victimized by Russia. Serguei Grigoriants, on the other hand, believes that the government’s purpose is not truly the control of Chechen terrorism, but rather winning voters’ approval of Putin for president. (It’s working.)

The Nobel peace prize has just been awarded to Doctors Without Borders, better known by its French acronym, MSF. Its current president, James Orbinski, gave the acceptance speech in which he strongly criticized the tendency of governments to use humanitarian assistance as weapons of war. Read here his entire speech, as well as a short history of Canada’s involvement in MSF by the president of the Canadian section, Michael Schull.

We offer three other important analyses in this issue. Michael Oliver discusses one of the lively topics of our day — global governance in its relation to the growth of international civil society. John Bacher, who is studying the connection between oil, dictatorship, and environmental devastation, describes today’s most sinister terrorist, Osama bin Laden, “King of the Petro-tyrants.” And finally, Tim Donais discusses the Balkan Stability Pact, which has been publicized hardly at all in Canada, but which is immensely important for the future of peace in the former Yugoslavia.

Peace Magazine Winter 2000

Peace Magazine Winter 2000, page 4. Some rights reserved.

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