Category SfP Bulletin Summer 1993

From the Editor

Readers will notice two changes in this issue of the Bulletin. The most obvious is that we have changed our format yet again. We are now having it produced on a laser printer, and I am sure you will agree that the appearance is much improved. We are grateful to Joe Vise for making this possible. The other is that we are now mailing the Bulletin of the Toronto Chapter along with our own. This effects a considerable saving of time, trouble, and expense for the Toronto Chapter, and I think members outside Toronto will also find things of interest to them in it.

Once again I would like to urge you to use the pages of the Bulletin for any items you would like to make known to your fellow members. These could include announcements of future meetings and reports on past ones; appeals for support in campaigns of one kind or another; comments on things you have read in the Bulletin, or on matters of topical concern; or anything else. I have found that book publishers are often willing to provide review copies of books dealing with subjects within our area of interest, so if you know of a book that you think Science for Peace members ought to hear about, let me know and I shall try to get a copy. Of course, if you have written a book yourself we would be happy to review that.

I would also like to remind you that your dues are extremely important to us. If a mark in the space below indicates that your payment is overdue, please let us have it as soon as you possibly can.

Have a happy summer.

President's Message

On 8 May, immediately preceding the Annual General Meeting, those present were fortunate to hear David Parnas’ address, concluding his long term of office as President of Science for Peace. It was a talk that will long be remembered and that will be made available in written form to people vho could not attend the AGM.

We bid farewell to him as President sadly. We will continue to need his skills and profound knowledge, experience and insights. We thank him for his service and hope he will remain near at hand.

We also bid a sad farewell to Phyllis Creighton as Secretary of Science for Peace. Though she served only one year, she was previously President of the Toronto Chapter, and her advice, profound knowledge and skills had often been available to us before that. We thank her for her long and valued service and hope she too will remain strongly involved.

It is time now to look forward and consider what Science for Peace could and should be doing in the very complex world left over from the Cold War years of the eighties, especially in view of the present trends in world politics and economics, and the changes within the UN itself. The disarmament issues that our past presidents have often emphasized are no less relevant today, but now all the peace issues are more widely understood to be linked and interwoven into the fabric of life. There is a link between the injustice to a single individual imprisoned without cause, and injustice to millions through despotism. Neglect of the environment and neglect of the human race go hand in hand. And militarism, especially as it is coupled to the arms trade, impedes progress on all fronts: justice, economic justice and the environment.

As a scientist I want to distinguish between important problems where the survival of an ordered human society is concerned, and equally vital problems that are, in addition, urgent. Of these the disappearance of the ozone layer is an example of the urgent class of problem and it is one that in principle can be solved — if we haven’t left it too late. It is a scientific and technical problem as well as human and political. There are many other urgent problems that do not appear quite as tractable, but that are eating into the Earth’s fragile life-structure, for example, the civil wars now being fought in many areas. Yet solutions to these problems must also be found.

Science for Peace will continue its quest for peace in the long term, toward a liveable and just world. But we may have to divert our attention from time to time to matters that are urgent.

I am aware that members of Science for Peace in places remote from our central office often have the impression that their membership subscription vanishes, with little to show for it. How can I convince you of the reality? With six working groups active, four having produced papers or a book last year, and with nine of our own books in print plus another in preparation, the office at University College always has much more to do than routine mailing. Your support, wherever you are, is absolutely vital to us. Please keep it up, increase it.

We also want your participation in our ongoing activities or your initiation of new ones.

Lastly I implore you to sustain the momentum gained toward peace in the eighties. Approach your friends and acquaintances and bring them in as new members of Science for Peace.

Colouring, War, and Peace

David Parnas’ Presidential Address to the AGM, Colouring, War, and Peace, made a profound impression on everyone who heard it. It is not possible in a brief summary to convey the impact of this eloquent and scholarly paper, but perhaps the following synopsis will encourage those who did not attend the meeting to obtain a copy from the Science for Peace office and read it for themselves.

David used “colouring” as a metaphor for many of the most serious problems facing the world today. In the first part of his address, “Colour it fuzzy”, he discussed the lines dividing areas of different colours on maps. These give an impression of sharp differences between the people of different sides of a border, where such differences really do not exist. Much suffering has resulted from attaching too much importance to these lines, and from drawing new ones. (Sometimes too, erasing these lines can lead to tragedy.)

In the second part,“Colour it blue”, he discussed the value of blue-helmeted UN troops, rather than national armies, in keeping peace. He called for the establishment of a truly international UN army, subject to the control of the General Assembly and governed by strict legal agreements as to how and when it should be used.

In the third part, “Don’t colour them red”, he noted that red is associated with the devil in western culture, and discussed how individuals, groups, and nations have often been “coloured red” in order to generate an emotional atmosphere in which wars or other evils become acceptable.

All three sections were illustrated by pertinent examples drawn from recent history. Some of these were surprising, and even shocking, to many of the listeners.

In his concluding remarks he said:

“If it is lives we want to save, we have to stop trying to draw sharp lines, we have to build and use a blue, peace-keeping, security guaranteeing, force, and

We have to stop creating devils. In other words, we have to : colour it fuzzy; colour them blue; refuse to colour them red.”

New Executive for Science for Peace 1993-94

At the Annual General Meeting of Science for Peace on 8 May 1993, the following persons were elected to the executive:

Derek Paul President Ron Shirtliff Treasurer Jim King Vice-President Eric Fawcett Membership Secretary John Valleau Secretary Terry Gardner Member-at-large

World Court Project Alert!

The spring Science for Peace Bulletin carried an article on the World Court Project (WCP) by Alan Phillips and came with a copy of the CPPN’W‘s Declaration of Conscience. Did you sign it and send it in? The time for action in now! So, what can you do, and why should Science for Peace work on the WCP?

From the outset ending the nuclear arms race and the threat of these omnicidal weapons has been a major goal of SfP work. The WCP is a significant citizens’ initiative to delegitimize nuclear weapons and thus move towards abolishing them. We as individuals for the first time can make our voice, unfiltered by our government, count, on this issue, before the International Court of Justice. An opinion ruling nuclear weapons illegal—as the best available legal advice says the court is likely to do— will cut the appeal of nuclear weapons as the currency of power.

Speaking at the Harbourfront forum on the WCP on 28 May, Commander Robert Green, R.N. (Ret’d), who heads the British section of the WCP, made an arresting claim: the WCP is the vaccine for the nuclear virus which is about to become an epidemic. He reported on the unexpected success registered at the World Health Assembly on 14 May when, by 73-40 (Canada voting with those opposing), a resolution was passed “to request the International Court of Justice to give an advisory opinion on the following question: In view of the health and environmental effects, would the use of nuclear weapons by a State in war or other armed conflict be a breach of its obligations under international law including the WHO Constitution?” Autumn would be the earliest possible date for an ICJ hearing on this question.

A WCP resolution will be put before the United Nations’ General Assembly in October. Green pointed out that Canada had been the “backdrop”

to the research that resulted in the first atomic bomb and that it could exercise crucial leverage on the US, the UK, and France, who now oppose the WCP. In Ottawa that day with VANA’s help he had got Liberal Warren Allmand and NDPers Svend Robinson, Dan Heap, and Lynn Hunter to sign Declarations of Conscience. Both Liberal and NDP signers said they would seek the support of their party for the WCP. A practical goal to work on is to get these two parties to incorporate in their election platform Canada’s co-sponsorship of the WCP resolution at the UN General Assembly in October. (Tory David MacDonald also took a Declaration of Conscience, to consider.)

The UN resolution will undoubtedly pass, he said, since the non-aligned nations will support it. But to influence the nuclear power hold outs, it would be useful to have a coalition of Ireland (a neutral, nuclear-free nation), New Zealand (where the Labour party will campaign in the fall election on a platform including support for the WCP), Australia, and Canada co-sponsor the resolution, which reads: “to request the International Court of Justice to urgently render its advisory opinion on whether or not the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons are permitted under international law.”

Green urged us to get the WCP endorsed by the various groups to which we belong. People must be recruited to sign the Declaration of Conscience, which must be individual, not a petition.

The next day, 29 May, at an SIP seminar on the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban, Canada’s Ambassador for Disarmament at the UN, Peggy Mason, asserted that both she and the Canadian government strongly oppose the whole idea of seeking an ICJ ruling to determine the legality of nuclear weapons in the light of international conventions. They think it is the kind of case that will not gain US and other great power acceptance of the ICJ. (Curious, when one remembers US rejection of the ICJ ruling on American destruction of Nicaragua’s harbour facilities.)

The relevant international conventions enshrine the seven major principles of war, namely, that international law prohibits weapons and tactics that: cause unnecessary suffering and aggravated harm; do not discriminate between civilian and military targets and personnel; cause disproportionate damage; produce poisonous results or cause genetic damage; cause widespread, long-term, and severe environmental damage; violate the rights of neutral countries; or produce genocidal effects or violate the Nuremburg Principles.

Mason indicated she supports the NPT and the CTB as instruments of moral and symbolic value and as steps towards delegitimizing nuclear weapons. When I urged that the WCP is an initiative of moral and symbolic value to achieve a similar effect, and that it will raise public awareness, create momentum, and involve citizens in building pressure on the governments, she accepted it as a legitimate citizens’ and NGO endeavour.

It’s up to us to use this opportunity to work against nuclear weapons. The project’s goal is to get as many signed declarations in by late October as possible. They will be taken to the UN, but declarations signed later can be used as evidence of citizen opinion at the ICJ during the hearing itself. If you need more information, the SfP office has educational materials on the WCP from the International Peace Bureau, including a report of an international conference held 14-15 May 1992 to launch the project, an IPB book on the legal arguments, and discussion guides from CPPNW and Project Ploughshares.

Worth Noting

Two interesting publications from the International Peace Bureau Centenary Conference, Helsinki, August 30, 1992:

The Coming of One Hundred Years of Peacemaking: Visions of Peace for the 21st Century, by Johan Galtung, 15 pp. This is available from Peace Action, 777 UN Plaza, New York NY 10017, International Peace Bureau, Rue de Zurich 41, CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland.

The Challenge of Building the Mind of Peace.. .asserting the humanistic vision… Address by Minister Michael D. Higgins on being presented with the Sean MacBride Peace Prize, 25 pp. Price one pound. No supplier is given, but perhaps this can be obtained from the same sources.

Copies of both of these are available for inspection in the SfP office.

Continued Discussions Between SfP and the BCDRC

Science for Peace met with the Biological and Chemical Defence Review Committee (BCDRC) 31 May 1993, to share with them our concerns. BCDRC is currently the only civilian review committee in any nation to review all aspects of biological and chemical defence research, development, and training programs within the nation’s defence establishment. One of the mandates of the BCDRC is to provide assurance to the Canadian public that only defensive activities which pose no threat to public safety are undertaken by the military. In view of this, the lengthy period between the completion of a report and its availability to the public of over two years leads to additional worry about the issues. We are told that nothing short of political pressure on External Affairs (which has the last say in its publication) could speed up the committee’s annual reports.

Secrecy of documents pertaining to chemical and biological warfare continues to be a concern. Again, we are told that this is a problem with External Affairs and not the Department of Defence. Here is an area where pressure in the House of Commons during a question period might bring some results.

Walter Dorn brought up the problem that the BCDRC was charged with ascertaining that only defensive and not offensive research is done and yet no clear guidelines concerning how to differentiate these have been spelled out. The committee agreed that clear criteria would be desirable but very difficult if not impossible to define in practice. Clearly, we hope the BCDRC gives this area more thought.

Finally, the question of developing technologies to verify compliance with international treaties banning biological and chemical warfare was discussed. We were surprised to learn that the mandate for verification was given to the Department of External Affairs and not the Department of Defence (DOD). Thus considerable research expertise in this area is being lost as the DOD is retrenching for lack of funds and External Affairs is not spending money on research.

The SDI is Dead! Long Live the SDI!

In the last month I have seen numerous articles in Canadian, U.S. and other papers announcing the Death of SDI. Phoenix-like it is still alive but with a new name — BMD.

Last month I attended a Software Engineering Conference in Baltimore in which numerous (bad) papers were presented about work on SDI software. At lunch, I had the company of a pleasant gentleman who worked at the “National Test Facility” in Colorado, formerly a major part of SDI, now a major part of BMD. His work, and that of those around him, has not changed a bit. The budget for his organisation has not changed a bit. No contracts will be changed. The only change, besides the name, is that the head of the organisation no longer reports directly to the Secretary of Defense but reports several levels lower.

The Pentagon is quite skilled at surviving changes in the political wins. Remember when Carter “killed” the B-1, but a prototype was sitting on a runway when Reagan took over? It would be very useful if members would, by letters and remarks, help to kill the myth that SDI is dead.

In the meantime, those of us who retained our cereal-box “secret code” rings can set “B” = “S”, “M” = *“D”, and “D” = “I”

Chlorine and Good Manners

This is a statement of personal opinion on the part of the editor. Comments are invited.

As everyone probably knows, Greenpeace has recently been campaigning vigorously for the almost complete abolition of the industrial use of chlorine and its organic compounds; they appear to regard Element 17 as the pariah of the periodic table. In fairness one might call attention to the innumerable lives that have been saved as a result of the chlorination of drinking water, by the use of chlorine-containing drugs like chloroquine, which cured me of malaria once, and for that matter by the destruction of disease-carrying insects by the use of chlorinated pesticides, before it was found necessary to discontinue their use.

However I am not concerned here with the case for or against the use of chlorine and its compounds. What I am concerned with is the generally accepted rules of civility in scientific controversy. Not long ago Greenpeace issued a press release under a title more appropriate for a supermarket tabloid (“Greenpeace exposes government science scandal on pulp mill pollution”) in which they made a personal attack on a highly respected scientist because he does not share their opinion on the environmental significance of chlorinated organic compounds in pulp mill effluents. This does not appear to have injured the scientist involved, but it has certainly injured Greenpeace, at least in my eyes, and I am not the only scientist who feels this way. Would it not be sensible for all of us who are concerned with the protection of the environment to treat each other with respect, however much we may differ on how best to achieve our common goals?

Resources on former Yugoslavia

Andrew Pakula has sent the SfP office documents on computer disk about the war in former Yugoslavia by activists, journalists, and other citizens from the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere.

The documents provide a glimpse into the horrors of the war and to promote understanding and peaceful resolution. Analyses and commentary pieces were selected to represent a range of opinion, mostly, but not exclusively, from within the peace and human rights community. The readings also include focus on the plight of the victims and the experiences of relief workers and peace activists.

The compilation is called Voices from Hell: Readings from the war in former Yugoslavia. The disks are IBM-compatible (DOS) and in ASCII text files.

If you would like to borrow this information, please contact the SfP office.

The Trade Union of Education, Science and Culture of Kosovo

This is a section of his report to the War Resisters’ International Executive on his visit to Prishtine, 18-23 February 1993

This union was responsible for coordinating the massive demonstrations on 12 October last year, when 200,000 in Prishtine and 600,000 in the whole of Kosova protested against the closing of schools. Some 570 people were beaten or taken into police detention that day, 16 of them were imprisoned for between 30 and 60 days, and one girl from Peja had her ear cut off. About 60% of the union’s remaining members in Kosova teach in elementary schools. 22 elementary schools have been closed; in those that are open, Serbian and Albanian education is rigidly segregated: Albanian teachers are unpaid; no materials are supplied for Albanian pupils; only the rooms used by Serbs are heated; each Serb pupil has an average space of 12.6 sq metre, as against 0.67 sq metre for Albanians (many pupils have to share chairs and desks). The federal budget allocates 28 per cent of its education spending in Kosova for the 450,000 Albanians, the rest for the 40,000 Serbs.

The Union distributes the 30DM per month to each of the 22,000 teachers keeping the elementary schools or shadow secondary schools and university classes going, either in people’s homes or using some school buildings. Obviously it is very difficult to teach science subjects, and they would be very interested in organizing student groups to visit other universities in their vacations when they might have access to science facilities. [italics added] Some student hostels have now been turned into police accommodation. While federal spending on education in Kosova is being drastically cut for Albanians, it is being expanded for Serbs sometimes very dramatically to allow for colonisation.

How you can help the independent feminist/peace movement in former Yugoslavia:

ACT for Disarmament’s Women’s Collective and Voice of Women are collecting resource materials on rape counselling, trauma counselling, feminist therapy, etc. for women’s groups in Zagreb, Belgrade, and Prishtine.

If you can donate resource materials, please mail to ACT, 736 Bathurst Street, Toronto, M5S 2R4.

If you don’t have resource materials to donate, you can send a cheque made out to the Women’s Peace Agenda Project.

A Nuclear-Weapon-Free World (NWFW): Desirable? Feasible?

edited by Joseph Rotblat, Jack Steinberger and Bhalchandra Udgaonkar, published by Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, Westview Press, 1993, 221 pp.

This review is written on the basis of a 16-page condensation of the book. I consider its contents so important that I don’t want to wait until I have read the whole book.

The editors give a brief history of previous efforts at total nuclear disarmament, which essentially petered out after the McCloy-Zorin Agreement (really only a statement of intention) of 1962, to be replaced by a series of specific but less ambitious “arms control” treaties in the three succeeding decades. The idea of total nuclear disarmament was affirmed in the Final Document of the First UN Special Session on Disarmament in 1978, but that was still only words. The idea resurfaced in the Gorbachev proposals in the late 1980s, and it now seems feasible, with the disintegration the Soviet Union, and with its successor states no longer being considered enemies of the West. So are their nuclear weapons still relevant, even those remaining after the START treaty reductions are completed by 2000 or 2010?

Nuclear weapons are not relevant, either, to deterring nuclear proliferation or conventional wars. North Korea and North Vietnam were not deterred by US nuclear weapons, or Afghanistan by Soviet ones, or Argentina by British ones; and Iraq tried to engage in proliferation under the present nuclear regime, as did others. How exactly do proponents of retaining nuclear weapons visualize their use in “low intensity conflicts”?

The main rival idea to a NWFW is minimum deterrence, in which the main nuclear powers retain only a few hundred to 1000 weapons each. This would be way below present levels, but still way above Hiroshima levels if used. The argument for a minimum deterrence world is that it is more stable with respect to “cheating”, i.e. one or more states hiding a few weapons and then blackmailing others. The counter-arguments are: (1) proliferation would probably ensue, (2) political changes in a NWFW would greatly increase mutual confidence and trust, so that cheating would not be considered productive in the new political culture, and (3) verification could be made stringent enough in a NWFW. This verification could be made stringent enough in a NWFW. This last point is the main argument developed in the book.

Verification would include 3 aspects: (1) Make sure that there is no diversion, either from the nuclear weapons stockpiles or from the fissile materials stored at both military and civilian reactor sites and production or separation plants. This would be done by procedures similar to the present IAEA safeguards conducted under the Non-proliferation Treaty, but improved to close loopholes which became apparent in the Iraq case. It should be preceded by making an inventory of fissile materials so far produced (a giant task) – although there would be a considerable allowed margin of error here.

(2) Make sure that existing production facilities are dismantled and no new ones are built. This would require comprehensive (“anytime, anywhere”) and intrusive (on-site) inspection. Also, existing stocks of fissile materials would have to be disposed of under international supervision, either by using then as feedstock in civilian power reactors (if these are wanted) or “denaturing” the U-235 with U-238 and “transmuting” the plutonium in particle accelerators, or permanent storage in rocks or salt mines, or shooting them by rockets into the sun.

(3) Make sure that no state has concealed any nuclear weapons or fissile materials. Here, on-site inspection and technological means of verification would be supplemented by “societal verification” (citizen reporting), the main innovation advocated in this book.

Under societal verification, the NWFW treaty would declare that it is the RIGHT AND THE DUTY of every citizen to report any suspected violation to the inspectors; and each state would enact NATIONAL LEGISLATION to put this into effect. The recent spread of democracy in the world makes this more feasible; but even in totalitarian Iraq there has been information from defectors. Physical scientists would play a major role here, because of their greater knowledge in nuclear matters. If necessary, there would be provisions of asylum for any whistleblowers threatened with retaliation.

The NWFW treaty, after receiving sufficient ratifications, would be binding on all states, even non-signers. There would be no provision for withdrawal from the treaty. The U.N. Security Council could order sanctions against violators who refuse to comply after receiving several levels of warning. The sanctions could be economic or military, but of course by conventional means only.

Further study and discussion is invited, but the book is quite comprehensive as it is. It should be carefully studied by all who consider a nuclearweapon-free world not only desirable, but also feasible. Even if you don’t consider it feasible before reading this book, the book, with its rich details, will convince you.

In Memoriam: Kenneth E. Boulding, 1910-1993

Kenneth Boulding was one of the greatest exponents of the principles which Science for Peace represents. For many years he was an associate and close friend of Dr. Anatol Rapoport. The following passages have been taken, with Dr. Rapoport’ s permission, from a memorial tribute which he has written for publication elsewhere.

I first met Ken at the newly founded Centre for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBAH, as we affectionately called it).

… In many ways our world outlooks were very different, at first thought hardly compatible. Ken was a devout Christian. I had the impression that he believed in the Resurrection and the miracles in the New Testament. I am an atheist. Ken was an economist. I am dismally ignorant of mathematics, but to the extent that I understand him, Ken thinks along classical lines with an admixture of Keynesianism, while I have been a convinced socialist since the age of fifteen. The core of our

affinity was an appreciation of the poetic aspects of science and a deep hatred of war. Neither Kenneth nor I saw science and poetry as opposites. To our way of thinking both reflect an appreciation of unity in diversity: science through structural analogies; poetry through metaphor.

… Closely related to his knack for metaphor, which makes Kenneth Boulding’s poetry so deliciously witty, was his masterful encapsulation of profound ideas, especially insights that shatter conventional wisdom. One of my favourites is “Things are as they are because they got that way”. Sounds at first like an inanity, but one does a double take and sees the profundity. For conventional wisdom has it that things are as they are because that’s the way they are. Ken juxtaposes the dynamic view to the static. The whole immensely rich concept of evolution is encapsulated in that homely homily.

… It was in the cause of peace that our collaboration was closest and most intense. One would expect a devout Christian, especially a member of the Society of Friends, to eschew all forms of aggression. And indeed I couldn’t conceive of Ken hating any human being. But hating violence and hating an institution dedicated to organized violence has nothing to do with hating human beings. Ken and I shared a burning hatred of the institution of war, not only its superbly organized murderous activity but also its pompous, arrogant rhetoric.

… Yes, Ken came close to being a genuine Christian (in the First Century sense), and yet he was an angry man as much as a gentle soul. A quality that fitted Ken most was exuberance, and it fitted his stormy anger as well as his enthusiasms. No one who made a mockery of fundamental tenets of morality (Ken’s faith was manifest in the belief that such existed) escaped his wrath. He had admired America as a haven of freedom and egalitarianism. On the night of the teach-in [At the University of Michigan, March 24 – 25, 1965] I heard him say “I see a sneer on the face of America, and I don’t like it”. He was referring to the dozen or so supporters of the war picketing the packed halls and carrying placards with “LBJ all the way!” and “Drop the bomb!” And he also lashed out against the teach-in activists when they flouted decency. The movement spread all over North America and to England. Both Ken and I were in London when a giant teach-in was held somewhere in the Westminster complex. We were recognized and hustled off to sit on the stage. They introduced us as “the American masters of the teach-ins”. We were to follow a scheduled speaker, who was “from the other side”. He was defending the government position supporting U.S. policy. He tried to make himself heard over the din in the hall that was drowning him out. I was trying desperately to think what to say about this ugly demonstration. Ken beat me to it. He asked for the floor and in the silence that immediately filled the hall he told the crowd that they were a disgrace to the peace movement. Tact was not Ken’s forte, and he had practically no sense of decorum.

Just as Ken recognized the “hard” and “soft” sides of general system theory, he emphasized both the “soft” and “hard” sides of the peace movement. He saw the “soft” side through his religiosity. He appreciated the “hard” side, because he knew what the scientific adventure was about. Soon after he returned to Michigan from CASBAH he became a key figure in organizing the Centre for Research on Conflict Resolution. The Centre did not survive.., but the Journal Of Conflict Resolution flourishes as the leading journal in the field.

Twenty-one years after the Journal of Conflict Resolution was founded Ken published an article in it entitled “Future Directions in Conflict and Peace Studies”. In it he asserts that the peace research movement has produced a discipline. In his usual bull’s eye hit manner he states three tests of a discipline: “does it have a bibliography? can you give course in it? can you give an examination in it? A fourth criterion should perhaps be added: does it have any specialized journals?” The answer, he asserts, is yes to all four questions.

To me the most significant area to which Ken called attention in that article is the study of institutions. This insight was doubtless inspired by the general system paradigm, which singles out institutions as kinds of organisms. Ken agreed with me that war should be properly seen as an institution rather than a recurring event. This way of looking at war puts the struggle for peace in an altogether new light. It pictures it as an analogue of the abolitionist movement in the decades preceding the abolition of slavery in the U.S. Altogether the article reveals Ken’s uncanny talent for blending ideas together. He somehow succeeded in bringing tremendous intellectual realms under a single conceptual roof.

I last saw Ken in Ann Arbor, where we became close thirty-six years previously … We talked about our lives. We wondered what was in store for humanity. We confessed that the events since 1989 left us in the dark. Ken had faith. I don’t, but I have hope, which, I keep insisting, is not the same thing, but sometimes I am not sure.

Raymond Boyer, 1906-1993

Raymond Boyer was born in Montreal and received his Ph.D. in chemistry from McGill. He lived and travelled in Europe for several years in the 1930s, studying at the Sorbonne and the University of Vienna. On his return to Montreal he was horrified by the social injustice and misery around him, and in response to this and to what he had seen first-hand of Fascism in Europe, he became a supporter of the Communist Party of Canada. During the Second World War he was on the faculty of McGill where he helped to organize the Canadian Association of Scientific Workers, and served as its national president. Like most of his colleagues he became engaged in military research, and played a major role in the development of an improved process for the production of RDX, an important military explosive. When Igor Gouzenko fled from the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa in 1945, some of the documents he took with him implicated Raymond in the transmission Of information about this process to the Soviet Union. Although the secrecy of this information was questionable, he was convicted under the Official Secrets Act and served a term in Saint Vincent de Paul penitentiary. While there he befriended his fellow prisoners and helped them where he could. Some years later he wrote an interesting and moving book about his experiences there, Barreaux de Fer Hommes de Chair (Bars of Iron Men of Flesh), Editions du Jour, Montreal, 1972.

In 1959 he embarked on a second career, this time in the social sciences. He made the acquaintance of Dr. Bruno Cormier, an eminent psychiatrist at McGill, and collaborated with him in research in criminology. He taught, took part in national and international conferences, and produced a number of important publications, notably a book, Les Crimes et les Chatiments au Canada Francais du XVIIe au XXe Si├Ęcle (Crimes and Punishments in French Canada from the 17th to the 20th century), Le Cercle du Livre de France, Montreal, 1966. Dr. Cormier described this book as the primary reference source in its field.

Following his retirement from his second career he continued to be active in the Peace Movement in Montreal and in the movement for prison reform until he was incapacitated by illness.

Raymond Boyer was a talented and compassionate man, a patron of the arts, a man of almost aristocratic grace and courtesy. Born into great wealth, he chose to devote his life to the service of science and humanity. He had a gift for friendship. After his release from penitentiary he remained on cordial terms with many of his former fellow prisoners and also with many of the friends of his earlier days who by no means shared his political views, and no doubt deplored the actions that had led to his imprisonment. He was a true friend to my wife and me for many years. We shall miss him.

The Toronto Resolution

On November 8 & 9, 1991, twenty-three scientists, academics, physicians and students attended a Workshop organized by Science for Peace to discuss the use of ethical codes in science and research, entitled the Workshop on Ethical Considerations in Scholarship and Science. Some of the participants in the Workshop together with a few others produced a document entitled The Toronto Resolution (TTR), which is enclosed with this issue of the Bulletin. Science for Peace now has a working group on Science and Ethics composed of members from many parts of the country. This working group is continuing the work begun at the 1991 Workshop. Any members who are interested in taking part in the activities of this working group should contact Dr. C.C. Gottlieb at (416) 978-2986. e-mail: ccg@csri.toronto.edu

Science for Peace Joins WEB

Science for Peace has subscribed to WEB, a global communications network serving the needs of the environmental, peace, international development, social justice and social services communities.

WEB is menu driven, simple to use and provides many features. Its most useful service is network conferences. One can join written conversations with other users on a variety of topics. Uses of conferences include:

  • providing, retrieving and discussing information about current issues,
  • creating calendars announcing the time, place and subjects of events,
  • coordinating regional, national or international projects,
  • writing joint papers or proposals with several other users.

WEB is a member of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) which cooperates to provide international services, linking people from all over the world. APC has nodes similar to WEB in countries that include UK, USA, Sweden, Brazil, Nicaragua, Australia, South Africa, Zimbabwe.

Science for Peace members are invited to try out WEB on a trial basis until August 7th. For more information on accessing WEB, contact Joe Vise (phone 416-978-8189 or 613-478-2930, email vise@orion.physics.utoronto.ca, sfp@helios.physics.utoronto.casfp@web.apc.org), or the Science for Peace office (phone 416-978-3606).

Workshop on "Recent Developments in Arms Control"

Oakham House, Ryerson Polytechnic University
Saturday, 29th May 1993

Session 1: The Chemical Weapons Convention

BY WALTER DORN

The presentation was illustrated by slides, starting from the first use of poison gas on the Western Front of the First World War on April 22nd, 1915. The widespread abhorrence of chemical warfare led to the development, through the League of Nations, of the 1925 Geneva Protocol. States signing this Protocol agreed to the banning of the use in war of both chemical and bacteriological agents. The one page Protocol, on display at the CWC signin-,.. ceremonies in Paris in January 1993, was in stark contrast to the CWC, which has 172 pages. Walter confirmed that it is a much weightier document as he carried it from the convention hall in Paris to a taxi at the start of its journey to New York. He also expressed the hope that we might be discussing the final chapters of the history of Chemical Weapons.

Walter chronicled many of the steps leading to the Paris ceremony, both forward and backwards. Among the backward steps were the military preparations of the 1930s carried out by some of the states which signed the Geneva Protocol, the invention of nerve agents in the 1930s, use of CW in various military anu anti-civilian operations (including those by Iraq in the 1980s), and the US decision in 1987 to develop binary CW warheads.

He discussed the forward steps, including the development of verification technology and procedures, incorporation of decision-making mechanisms in cases of suspected violations, to the final Convention document. He noted that the idea that all ratifying states pass their own penal legislation under which individual violators can be prosecuted originated among colleagues in the Markland Group. These ideas were published by Science for Peace/Samuel Stevens in “Disarmament’s Missing Dimension” in 1990, and later that year were incorporated into the so-called “rolling text” of the CWC. Following the use of CW in the Middle East in the 1980s the Australia Group developed a regime of export controls with a high level of industrial cooperation. The Finnish government through its “Blue Book” series on CW verification technology which helps promote uniform international standards is providing further evidence of the global interest in making the CWC truly effective. This has also shown how smaller and middle powers can contribute greatly to arms control.

The headquarters or the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will be situated in The Hague, which is also the seat of the International Court of Justice. It will coordinate “on-site” inspections with the ratifying states’ designated National Authorities to ensure the destruction of all existing stockpiles of CW, the non-production of CW and the control of scheduled chemical substances. Additional information on the operation, responsibilities and composition of the OPCW in the form of a handout was distributed to attendees.

Short additional presentations were made by Dr. Clive Holloway, Chair of the Biological and Chemical Defence Review Committee (BCDRC) and by Douglas Scott, President of the Markland Group. The active and extended questions and answers that followed the presentations has not yet been transcribed. This is also the situation for Sessions 2 and 3.

Session 2: Stability and Arms Control in Outer Space

BY DR. GEORGE LINDSEY

Space technology as applied to Outer Space is understood to include only objects in earth orbits, thereby excluding all Ballistic Missiles (BMs), even those of intercontinental range (ICBMs). Early satellites in low earth orbits (LEO) were very small, with no direct military significance, but their existence raised fears that they might be followed by larger versions carrying weapons. Modern developments of orbiting satellites demonstrate an amazing variety of both military and civilian functions, but these do not include the direct attack of targets on the surface of the earth.

The overlap between civilian and military applications of outer space technology must be considered carefully, so that actions to restrict military uses would have minimal impact on desirable civilian applications. Most of the public concern about the “militarization of space” is related to its potential employment for defence against BMs. As outlined in Dr. Lindsey’s earlier talk to the Toronto Chapter, the interception and destruction of a BM in flight is extraordinarily difficult. The Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty of 1972 specifically prohibited the deployment of space-based components of an ABM system, but permitted research. The SDI program in 1983 raised fears of deployment of orbiting interception weapons, but with end of the Cold War, ICBM reductions and the growing threat of proliferation of shorter range BMs, the whole program has changed to just Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD).

At present no arms control agreements specifically forbid Anti-Satellite (ASAT) systems, which could threaten opponents’ space surveillance and communications systems. The problem of limiting ASAT is inextricably interconnected with BMD, as any system able to destroy a long-range BM in the mid-course phase of its trajectory can destroy a satellite in LEO. However, the technology is such that the prohibition of space-based ASAT will do little to protect satellites unless accompanied by limitations on surface-based AS AT.

In considering Space and International Stability, Dr. Lindsey pointed out that the pertinent military applications for the 1990s should be considered separately from the era of Superpower confrontation of the 1970s and 1980s. In place of strategic nuclear deterrence, bi-lateral arms control agreements and actions, the 1990s will require peace restoration, peacekeeping and multi-lateral arms control. Military actions to support stability will require great flexibility and support from space-based surveillance and communications. These two categories of equipment have many civilian uses as well and can be seen as primarily stabilizing for international security, as they were during the Cold War. Space based weapons, on the other hand, are not presently used, the main incentives to deploy them would be for ABM or ASAT purposes. He concluded that it would not be productive to seek idealistic comprehensive solutions to strengthening of international stability by placing widespread restrictions on what will be allowed in space technology.

Session 3: The NPT and CTBT Where are we headed? A UN Perspective

BY PEGGY MASON

Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament.

Peggy Mason’s talk started and finished with references to the imminent decision that President Clinton has to make about the US nuclear testing moratorium. The context of the body of the talk was drawn from notes for a speech given in Kyoto, Japan at a multilateral disarmament conference sponsored by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs.

She discussed answers to some questions posed about the significance of a CTBT in a post Cold War era and what its benefits might be, as well as the role it could have in curbing the spread of nuclear weapons, usually called horizontal proliferation. The direct impact of the CTBT would be to restrict weapon modernization, other treaties such as the INF, START 1 and START 2 deal with reduction of the numbers of weapons (modernization and the number of weapons are the features of vertical proliferation). The general recognition of Israel as having become an undeclared nuclear weapons (NW) state shows that a CTB does not preclude the spread to new countries. She emphasised that the most important benefit of the CTBT is its connection to the entire nuclear non-proliferation regime. This connection rests with the moral authority of the declared NW states who make up the five permanent members (P5) of the Security Council. It acts through the bargain the P5 made with the non-NW states when the NPT was negotiated, entrenched in Article 6, that the P5 would work to reduce their arsenals and eventually give up their “have” status.

Ms. Mason related how, at the 1990 NPT Review Conference, the question arose as to whether vertical or horizontal proliferation should be considered more important. The Canadian answer would be that one should not be held hostage to the other and the action of Argentina and Brazil in seeking safeguards through ratification of the Treaty of Tlatelloco can be considered very encouraging and avoiding the problems associated with choosing vertical or horizontal. Giving credence to the choice has the effect of shielding rather than exposing would-be proliferators, such as India.

There is growing international pressure that all the P5 should move quickly to negotiating a CTBT. Only the UK and China do not have officially announced moratoria at this instant (the UK is involuntarily hitched on to the US’ moratorium). The US Congress passed the Energy and Water Resources Bill last Fall which President Bush had to sign into law, giving effect to a moratorium which would last until July 1st, 1993. The Pentagon and the Department of Energy maintain more testing is necessary for “safety and reliability” purposes and suggested (unsuccessfully) that tests with yields of <1 kiloton would be legitimate. The counter arguments are that the real reason for resuming testing is to maintain expertise in the weapons labs’ staff and that if the US resumes testing, all the others will follow suit. President Clinton has to make the decision on whether or not to *extend the moratorium right now, at a time when the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency has only an Acting Dijector and many of the senior staff are in transition.

Ms. Mason concluded her presentation with a plea that all interested attendees make their views known through the usual routes of letters to the press and public talks. A lively question and response period followed.

Just over 30 people attended the three sessions, which started at 9 am and continued until 4 pm. The organizers acknowledge with thanks the financial contributions from the Franz Blumenfeld Peace Fund and UNICOLL Credit Union. The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science of Ryerson Polytechnic University endorsed the project.

Summaries of the presentations by the Discussion Leaders were prepared by Peter Brogden. Session I summary was taken from tape recordings of the session. Session 2 summary was taken from Dr. Lindsey’s notes. Session 3 summary was taken from the transcription from tapes by Dominick Jenkins.

Letter from SFP President to US President

16 June 1993

Dear President Clinton,

The Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban, and the current moratorium on testing nuclear weapons.

A letter on the above subjects dated June 8, 1993 and signed by Peter Brogden (Chair, Toronto Chapter of Science for Peace), M. Leith (Chair CTB Committee of CPPNW), John C. Polanyi (Nobel Laureate, Board member, Science for Peace), and Phyllis Creighton (Past Secretary, Science for Peace) will by now have reached your office. It was prepared in my absence abroad, and I wish now to endorse it most strongly.

A past president of Science for Peace, the late George Ignatieff, who was Canadian Ambassador to NATO at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and did much that is not widely known to avert a nuclear holocaust at that time, and was also later Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations,strongly advocated the various points made in the 8 June letter during his lifetime.

I was myself a member of an 18-person international committee in 1986 which set out to persuade M.S. Gorbachev that he should continue the unilateral Soviet nuclear test moratorium that was in force at that time. Whether we were successful will never be known, but the Soviets did extend their moratorium for an additional 6 1/2 months. We were able to assemble a group of scientific experts which clearly demonstrated that Soviet security would not be endangered by such an extension. When moratoria are maintained on both sides on all sides, the mutual security increases.
Vol. 13 No. 3 November 1993

Full text version of all articles from SfP Bulletin Summer 1993. A PDF edition is also available.

Science for Peace Bulletin | ISSN 1925-170X (Print) | ISSN 1925-1718 (Online)