Category SfP Bulletin Spring 1993
Once again I would like to urge all members to make a contribution to the Bulletin. News items, comments on articles in previous issues’ book reviews, expressions of Opinion, particularly on controversial matters, all will be welcome, and we shall try to publish them, subject to limitation’s of space, regard for the laws of libel, and general considerations of decency.
We have recently sent out appeals for the payment of annual membership fees. If for any reason you have not yet sent in your contribution, please do so now.
Best wishes to everyone for a Happy Easter, Passover, or whatever occasion you use to celebrate the coming of spring.
In his article “Peace: an idea whose time has come” Dr Anatol Rapoport made an extremely important point which Was only briefly alluded to in our summary of the article in the previous issue of this Bulletin. Be quoted from a memorandum by George Kennan written in 1948 but only made public much later. Mr Kennan quoted as having said: “…we have about 50% of the world’s wealth, but Only 6.3% of its population. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which permit us to maintain this Position of disparity without detriment to out national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming, and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive Ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction. We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The, day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans the better.” (Kennan, George F., Report by the Policy. Planning Staff, Policy Planning Study Number 23, February 24, 1948, in Foreign Relations of the United States, 1948, Vol. 1, part 2, Washington, United. States Government Printing Office; 1976, pp. 524-25).
This is of particular relevance, in light of the recent decision of CIDA to cut back on aid to African countries. It appears that some of the aid money will be redirected to countries of Eastern Europe, partly at least because this is seen as benefitting Canadian business. It appears that altruism is not very highly regarded by the Canadian government either.
This is the title of a paper: by Lord Zuckerman in Nature, volume 361, pp 392 – 396, 4 February 1993.
Lord Zuckerman reviews the efforts that have been made to control nuclear arms from the partial test-ban treaty of 1963 (in the negotiation of which he played an important role) to the agreement between Bush and Yeltsin to drastically cut the number of warheads held by the United States and the former Soviet Union. Ratification of this treaty will be a lengthy process, particularly since of the four of the successor republics of the former Soviet Union that possess nuclear weapons (Russia, Kazakhstan, Byelorussia and the Ukraine) only Russia has acceded to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968. However in his view the agreement signals “a recognition that the nuclear arms race has long since passed the point where it made any political, strategic, or even military sense”.
Some countries, including the United Kingdom, argue that some testing may be required to ensure the safety of new weapons. There is however a substantial body of expert opinion that considers further tests to be unnecessary. Another obstacle to a CTBT is the difficulty of securing agreement on the establishment of a network of seismic stations to detect underground explosions. There may also be reluctance on the part of some countries to accept the principle of on-site inspections following suspicious seismic events. A further difficulty may arise in deciding what body should collect seismic data and organize inspections. In Lord Zuckerman’s view it would be better if this would be the already existing International Atomic Energy Agency rather than some new body created for the purpose.
The end of the cold war has, if anything, made the need for a comprehensive test ban treaty (CTBT) more pressing. The distortion in manufacturing industries by military interests since the end of the Second World War has led to serious economic problems and to an enormous increase in the international arms trade. If this trade should extend to illicit traffic in nuclear, materials or technology there is an extreme danger that nuclear weapons Might fall into the hands of people. Who would not be inhibited from using them. The existence of a comprehensive test ban would greatly lessen this danger.
A second Workshop on Ethical Considerations in Scholarship and Science was held in University College, University of Toronto, on December 14, 1992. Its purpose was to consolidate and advance the objectives of the first Workshop of November, 1991, when The Toronto Resolution ( TTR ) was formulated, and to seek ways of promulgating this document and encouraging its consideration by scientific societies and professional organizations.
The dozen or so participants decided to carry out a survey of such societies and organizations to see how their codes of ethics relate to their social and environmental context in the light of the ELEMENTS OF A CODE OF ETHICS formulated in the TTR. These “Elements” may be regarded as universal guidelines for incorportation into professional codes, which emphasize individual and institutional response to such issues as Militarism and Sustainable development,
The survey will initially examine the codes of ethics of some professional societies collected by Craig Summers of Laurentian University (unpublished). It is then intended to ask the ethics committees of the Ontario societies to consider revision and extension of their codes to conform with the elements set out in The Toronto Resolution.
The survey will be sponsored by a Working Group whose Corresponding Members are expected to be the seven colleges and university institutes that sponsored the Workshops. The Executive Members of the Working Group on Ethical Considerations in Scholarship and Science will be Chair: C.C. Gotlieb; Secretary: Eric Fawcett; Research Director: Craig Summers; Treasurer: Ken Burkhardt; Members at large: Jim Prentice and Colin Soskolne.
The danger of an instant and terminal nuclear holocaust has fortunately receded, at least for the present. However, the danger that one or a few nuclear bombs will be used has probably never been higher since Nagasaki, and continues to rise. U.S. policy appears to be to try to dominate the world for the indefinite future, and to decide which countries may and which may not have nuclear weapons. This will not work. As Erich Geitinget of Aotearoa/New Zealand writes: “The notion that a judicious mixture of threats and promises, cash and new technologies, covert action and secret deals, combined with assiduous door to door selling of the American way of life, will persuade the world to leave nukes in Uncle Sam’s capable hands, is a dangerous misreading of post-Cold War reality.”
The World Court Project is an international citizens’ initiative to outlaw nuclear weapons by requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice at The Hague. There is good legal eaeon to believe that if the question is put, the Court will give the opinion that the Weapons are contrary to the laws of war. To this end we shall be protOtinq resolutions during 1993 in both the World Health Assembly (May). and the U.N. General Assembly (Sept).
The founding sponsors of the Project are the International Peace Bureau (IPB), the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA), and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). Many Canadian peace groups including Science for Peace are co-sponsors in this country.
In 1987 a retired Aotearoa judge, Harold Evans, wrote to the prime Ministers of Australia and Aotearoa, asking them to start the process. The idea had-the personal approval of Prime Minister David Lange, though not the support of his government. Other means had to be found, and a number of nations are now willing to co-sponsor a request to the Court. The world-wide project reached the stage of a public launching in Geneva in April 1992. At that time, an effort to put the matter On the agenda of the World Health Assembly was defeated by U.S. lobbying.
Since then a campaign has been continued on both government and citizen levels. At the government level, a_ lobbying office has been set up in New York to make contacts with delegations to the U.N. from many nations. The project has also been discutted in a private meeting with the U.N. Secretary-General. A motion is on the agenda for the World Health Assembly for May 1993.
At the citizen level, the World Court Project sets out to change public opinion so that the very thought of nuclear weapons would become as abhorrent to the people of the World as are chemical and biological weapons, against the use of which there are already treaties: Public opinion is a crucial force in this cause because the Hague and Geneva Conventions, signed by world leaders in 1897, 1907, 1949 and 1977, forbid inhumane acts and practices in war; they had the foresight to anticipate weapons not then invented. The “De Martens” clause states that when a weapon or tactic of war is not specifically prohibited, the “dictates of public conscience Shall
The plan is to deliver a very: large number of “Declarations of Conscience to the World Court. A million signatures does not seem an impossible goal: We are asking individuals to sign a statement that the use. of nuclear weapons would be abhorrent and morally wrong.
If you agree, please sign, tear off, and mail the “Declaration” from the enclosed WCP brochure, but first take some photocopies and ask friends and colleagues to sign also. (There is no need to use this specific form of words, but there is no advantage in making it longer. It will be the lawyers who argue the case; individuals need only ‘state their conviction.)
Those of you who think, that the cold war, the arms race, and consequently the Strategic Defence Initiative is over might be interested in the following information taken from the “Disarmament Newsletter – Newsletter of World Disarmament Campaign” United Nations Vol. 10, No.3 – June 1992.
The US Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) has moved to cut its funding for space-based systems in order to increase its ability to deploy a ground-based system in conformity to the United States Missile Defence Act of 1991.
The system proposed by this Act would be. in compliance with the Treaty on anti-ballistic missiles and would have the qc,1 of proViding a ground-based SDI system by 1996 with the capacity to defend most of the continental United States. This has lead to reductions in funding the “brilliant pebbles” space-based intercepter Programme.”
The same organisation that used to argue that it was impractical to build a ground-based defence for the US is now talking about deploying a system of that sort by 1956; just 3 years. It also speaks of “defending most of the US” which would seem to require many bases. Although it speaks of being, in compliance with the 1972 ABM treaty, that treaty clearly limits the number and Location of such bases. This organisation has a long history of reading the 1972 ABM treaty in very creative ways. You may recall the debate over the meaning of “research” in the 1972 treaty, The debate was important because the SDIO claimed that research was permitted by the treaty.
Those who remember the discussions of the meaning of “research” would be surprised to know that the word “research” never appears in that treaty. The debate was continued because nobody bothered to read the treaty.
The justification for the switch to ground-based defence seems to be based on the purported “success” of the Patriot. In spite of fairly convincing testimony before Congress to the effect that the Patriot caused more damage than it prevented and failed to destroy a single missile, this justification seems to be working. Patriot is also successful in foreign tales, but Israeli purchasers are said to be modifying it so that it will work the next time.
The budget for the SDIO has hovered above US $5,000,000,000, more than in the early Reagan years. There aredetermined efforts to create the impression that we no longer have to worry about disarmament, but observers will find that the arms development race is continuing. The military has agreed to get rid of the excess baggage of certain old nuclear weapons, but continues to develop new weapons that it considers more flexible and “useful”,
This is not the time for those of us who want real disarmament to relax and turn to other issues. Au contraire! It is a time, for increased vigilance and efforts to keep our colleagues and the public aware of what is going on.
This workshop —on Increasing International Stability was the fourth in a series. organized by the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) in Laxenberg, Austria. (1983), Cleveland, USA (1986), and Budapest, Hungary (1989). It was organized by Science for Peace for IFAC with the principal aimof extending the ideas from previous workshops about the use of—systems engineering methods for resolving international conflicts, with contributions also welcomed from the point of view of political science; economics, sociology, international studies, etc.
The Workshop was most successful, with 27 papers presented by participants from USA, Canada, UK, Austria, Germany, Russia, South Africa, and Switzerland.
It is anticipated that about 10 of the papers presented will be published by IFAC in one of their journals, Automatica, or Control Engineering Practice Publication of the complete Workshop Proceedings is under consideration.
We are especially indebted to Jean Smith for dealing with the innumerable questions and problems that arise in the course of such an event.
Eric Fawcett, Workshop Chairperson
I am writing to air my concern that NAFTA will bring about a militaristic aspect to our Canadian Society that will mirror the present US society’s militarism.
As you may know, the US does not directly subsidize its non-military industries. But through the Pentagon, in the name of “defence/national security” massive spending by the US government supports a huge military-industrial complex. This is not considered by Americans as a subsidy to business, but a crucial aspect of US security.
Hence, we have the situation that since the US does. not allow itself to subsidize ordinary industries, then it is the US position that Canada and Mexico (and the other countries of the Americas that will be induced to join NAFTA) should not subsidize their Ordinary industries. Bear in mind that to the US business community, subsidies include our health schemes, our unemployment insurance, old age pensions, etc.
Now, whereas FTA provides for discussions in the period 1983 1996 to define subsidies, NAFTA does not, but instead allows for only two subSidies — one is to the oil industry (actually the term used is “the energy industry”), and the second is to the military industry. This has profound consequences.
The history of our defence industry and its subservience to the US is long. However, the , year 1987 presented a watershed. Recall that in 1987 negotiations for FTA commenced. In that year, theMulroney government released a “Canadian Defence White Paper”. It called for the militarization of the Canadian economy (my emphasis), with a commitment of our country to a massive acceleration – of defence spending, with government assistance to private military production.
Since that year, according to estimates by Stats Can, Mel Hurtig, Council of Canadians, and others, the military production industry has grown at an astonishing six percent per year, and the situation is continuing. As you know, the 4.5 billion expenditure on unneeded helicopters is under way. Worse still, the president of the company that is building them has said (see articles in the Toronto Star, week of February 15/93) that when NAFTA’ comes into effect, his Company will be moved from Canada to Mexico. To add to this these helicopters, designed to hunt Russian submarines, are too big to land on the frigates now used by the Canadian Navy, so that new frigates Will have to be built and paid for. Rescue and Safety people have quite candidly Stated that the downwash from the helicopters will be too strong for them to be useful in rescue work. All this supports the statement attributed to Jack Cook, a defence critic, in Maude Barlow’s book “Parcel of Rogues” (1990): “The Free Trade Agreement is the: means by which the White Paper is implemented”.
The FTA and NAFTA both give the US secure access to Canadian energy.
How is this done? As mentioned earlier, there are only two types of subsidies allowed by NAFTA – energy for one and private production of defence materials. Article 2003 exempts military production industries from the government subsidies, that can otherwise be disallowed as unfair trading practice. Further, Article 90.4 shows how we have lost control over our energy. For instance, all it takes is a US declaration of an oil emergency because of defence considerations, and we must then supply, at prices no higher than the then prevailing price in Canada, the same pro-rata share of Canadian oil production that was sold to the US in the “most recent 36-month period”. This does not apply to the Mexicans who categorically resist US pressure to do the same as Canada.
The meaning and implications are all too clear:
Canada has lost control of a precious natural resource, namely oil. It affects our sovereignty – in times of emergency, if a government in Canada wished to help an ailing industry by subsidizing oil prices, this would no longer be feasible.
Either Canada would not have enough oil left to do this after supplying the US because of NAFTA, and/or the price the US would then pay would make it uneconomic to do so. Public policy considerations in this matter are lost, all in the name of defense. Note too that this means that the Canadian taxpayer in supporting subsidies for exploration by the oil industry is subsidizing the US.
We have witnessed and are witnessing a growing military production industry in Canada. Arms sales to the mid-East and Third World countries together with sales of parts for advanced military systems to the US constitute a moral outrage. Of course, the Business Council on National Issues (BCNI) calls for reduced social programs so that more can be spent on defence contracts, which is exactly what is happening. The attack on our social programs, either directly or through the phasing out of federal transfer payments for regional programs, are all consequences of the BCNI-Tory agenda.
Another aspect of this intended rise of militarism in Canada was discussed at a recent news conference (Feb 19, 1993) organized by Science for Peace at Queen’s Park. David Parnas, the national president of SfP, pointed out that a consequence of NAFTA will be that no country, except the US, wil be able to design and manufacture a product on its own. This in turn will interfere with our ability to set our own safety standards and impair our defence capability. [See p. 7 of this issue of the Bulletin.]
By emphasizing efficiency and profit, the Tory government has managed to shift Canada from a caring society into one that is becoming more and more militaristic and neo-Reaganite in character. Ironically, the US is changing, having rejected neo-Reaganism and the multinational agenda. If NAFTA does come about, we risk this loss of our Canadian zone and will fail, in the same way the US has failed, to properly feed, house, clothe, educate, and to provide proper medical care to all of Canadian society and to provide employment for our people. We must stop NAFTA – it is the only logical conclusion.
Professor Gerhard Stroink of Dalhousie University has sent us the following sad message:
C. G. (Giff) Gifford of Halifax, founding chairman of the Veterans Against Nuclear Arms, died Sunday [March 7]. Mr. Gifford served in the RCAF from 1941 to 1945 as an air navigator. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was well known for his opposition to nuclear weapons and rallied many veterans to participate in peace activities. He appeared on many radio and TV shows (including the documentary “Return to Dresden”), as well as panels and was guest speaker on many peace rallies. Despite strong opposition from other veterans in this community for his views, he was well liked by this community, especially by the students. He helped organize a major peace rally against the Iraq War. He was 74.
Why is Science for Peace opposed to NAFTA?
We believe that NAFTA (a) encourages us invest our scarce scientific, and engineering energy in the development of weapon systems; (b) will weaken Canada’s ability to use its resources to design and manufacture products in accordance with its own social needs; © is based on a scientifically false model of economics.
How does NAFTA encourage the militarisation of Science?
The authors of NAFTA believe that national subsidies are unfair in international trade: They ignore the obvious fact that any subsidy that makes some product cheaper must make others more expensive. Subsidies are merely a tool for setting priorities. NAFTA forbids subsidies (although it Makes make no provision to define that term) except in two fields. One of those fields Is defence production This exemption will lead to strong pressure on the government to subsidise those areas of technology that contribute to weapons development and to neglect areas that have only peaceful applications. It will also encourage the government to allow the military to control more research funding. In the U.S., the DOD provides more than half of the research funding in many high-technology fields the Pentagon sets the research, agenda. Under NAFTA we would move in that direction.
How do these agreements weaken Canada’s independent development abilities?
In the name of “efficiency”, “Free Trade” agreements encourage internationalisation of design, development and manufacturing. Often, multinational firms have distributed their facilities in such a way that no single country, except perhaps the U.S., could design and manufatture major products on its own. This interdependence even interferes with the ability of a country to set its own safety standards. We should recall that multinational car manufacturers opposed Canada’s decision to require daytime running lights because U.S. models would not have them. In Europe, international agreements have prevented countries from forbidding the use of dangerous chemicals in paints and from setting their own standards for telephones. NAFTA could make it difficult for us to follow Sweden in requiring paper manufacturers to clean up their production process.
Internationalisation’even interferes with our defence capability. We are forced to sell parts and buy complete systems. However, the weapons that we purchase are often weaker than those the U.S.uses itself. Significant systems and capabilities are missing from the aircraft and other weapons that the U.S. sells to its allies and other customers. This allows other countries to support weapon development while guaranteeing that other countries will not have weapons as powerful as those used by U.S. aimed forces.
What is the economic theory of free trade?
The present and proposed agreements are based on the assumption that all value can be represented in terms of a single unit, the dollar. Mathematically, this is the assumption that a vector can be repretehted as a single scalar; this is clearly false. A proper economic analysis does not simply measure net production in dollars, but:looks at individual ‘commodities to determine how well an economic system meets the needs of its participants and if it makes .good use of the resources available to it. Measurement in terms Of monetary value alone leads a country to become a true “banana republic” — producing the products that maximize dollar value but failing to feed, house, educate, provide medical care for, or employ its people.
One of the speakers at the Global Forum, the NGO conference in Rio, made reference to the information glut that exists. A Canadian graduate student, studying in Brazil, responded that the so-called information glut exists only in the developed world, as there is very little information in the south. I believe members of Science for Peace may be able to help with this lack of information.
Those who do research understand the importance of building on what is already known. Journals are a common source of information. However, the price of subscribing to journals is often beyond the reach of universities in the south. These universities do, in many cases, have computer facilities linked to the Internet. It is through this link that researchers, from Brazil to Bangladesh, may gain access to the information they need. What is required is someone to correspond with them. If researchers in the north and south, sharing common research interests, can communicate with each other both may, gain greater insight into their problems. The importance of collaboration is recognized in industrialized countries. I simply propose to extend those lines of communication.
I suggest that members of SfP who are faculty members, or graduate students, at a Canadian university select a university in a developing country and find a contact person there. By sending a summary of the current research being done, within a department, to the “sister” university researchers sharing common interests may make contact.
The rest is up to the individuals. I realize at least some of the difficulties in this, as I am attempting this connection between Trent University and the State University of Parana, in Curitiba, Brazil, but I think it is worth the effort.
I am just learning my way around the Internet but I understand that on-line journals do exist. These may be another source of information. If anyone is an Internet expert please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have also leatned that a new network, COMNET, is being created, in Europe, which will also have online journals.
DELTA: Newsletter of the Canadian Global Change Program (CGCP) is published quarterly by the Royal Society of Canada, who will be mailing a copy to each member of Science for Peace, starting with the Spring 1993 issue. Global change research explores the rapid changes in our environment now occurring in both the geosphere and the biosphere, while the Human Dimensions part of the program addresses the impact on society and, conversely, caused by human activity.
Many aspects of their research relate to the Science for Peace mandate, but any member whose interest in the CGCP is marginal may of course withdraw from the DELTA distribution list.
Most readers will be aware that the Innu of Nitassinan (the Quebec-Labrador peninsula) have been subjected to low-level training flights by NATO pilots from Germany, Britain, and the Netherlands over their hunting grounds. The noise of these flights causes them great distress; particularly the elderly and the young.
The Innu travel to camps far in the interior of Nitassinan each fall, and spring where they hunt, trap, and fish in much the same way that their ancestors have for over 2,000 years. Their land and the wildlife are threatened by many government and industrial initiatives including forest cutting, hydro dams, highways, and mines.
The Royal Air Force Commander at Goose Bay said that the training his pilots received in Nitassinan was very helpful in preparing them for their missions against Iraq.
The Canadian government agreed in Agenda 21 that “the lands of indigenous people and their communities should be protected from activites that are environmentally unsound or that the indigenous people concerned consider to be socially and culturally inappropriate” (Chapter 26, subsection ii)
Anyone who would like to fake part in this campaign—which is in recognition of 501 Years of Resistance & Survival in this 1993 United Nations declared “International Year of Indigenous Peoples”—should get in touch with The International Innu Campaign Planning Group, 736 Bathurst St, Toronto M5S 2R4, phone 416/531-6154, fax 416/531- 5850.
Full text version of all articles from PDF edition is also available.