Letters

Liked Watkins letter

Richmond, Ky, USA

“We read your Bulletin with interest each time, and especially liked the letter from Mel Watkins on the first page of the newest one. Thanks for all the effort and time you put into getting this out!”

- Connie McLanahan

Swarthmore Peace Collection

Swarthmore, Penna, USA

“The Swarthmore College Peace Col­lection is an archival library whose purpose is to collect and preserve the records of organizations and individu­als active in the peace movement on a national and international level. We are very interested in your periodical Science for Peace Bulletin.”

- Mary Ellen C. Clark
Ass’t to the Curator

The Right Sort of Initiative

Geneva, Switzerland

I am writing to you with regard to your letter, with your colleagues John Polanyi and George Ignatieff, of March 25 to Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union in the April issue of the Science for Peace BULLETIN. This is precisely the sort of initiative which is desperately needed at this time – regionally, nationally, international­ly. I would like to suggest that per­haps the work could be taken one step farther in an effort to expand aware­ness of public opinion; such letters be published in as many newspapers as possible. My deep concern is that people are not being reached – all of those people beyond the periphery of groups working for disarmament and peace.

- Sally Curry

To: The Honourable Brian Mulroney Prime, Minister

Dear Sir:

The United States’ attack on Libya has roused grave concern among members of Science for Peace, especially in regard to the role Canada may play in the aftermath. We have attempted to report in the enclosed document some of these concerns.

John Dove, secretary George Ignatieff, director Anatol Rapoport ,president

cc: The Hon. John Turner
The Hon. Edward Broadbent

Enclosed:

On Terrorism

The essential features of terrorism are (1) contempt for law and for any non-violent conflict resolu­tion and (2) use of violence to demon­strate the power to kill.

The US attack on Libya has both of these features. The stated goal of checking further acts of international terror is not likely to be realized. On the contrary, further acts of senseless violence can be expected. And even if, contrary to expectations, Gadaffi and others like him are intimidated for a while, the attack on Libya amounts to condoning terrorism rather than deter­ring it, because the attack will, by its very “success”, give encouragement to those who despise law and reason, those who use every opportunity to demonstrate the power of violence.

If contempt for the law is the mark of the terrorist, then the US has acted like a terrorist. By using unilateral threats and violence it contributes to further weakening of the United Nations and other interna­tional fora, thus destroying still-cherished hopes of instilling some measure of respect for law and reason into relations among states.

When Canada approves such adven­tures, the country is tainted by the Image of the US as an international bully. The credibility of her ex­pressed readiness to work for a peace­ful, law-abiding world is impaired. Canada ought to assert her integrity and her friendship with the people of the United States and of Libya by refusing to condone Ronald Reagan’s indulgence in reckless, provocative and dangerous outbursts of violence.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scien­tists, Vol 42, No 3,carried an article on R&D spending in the USA. Based on the data presented (Nat’l Science Foundation Report 85-322), I calculate that since 1980, expenditure (constant dollars) for military R&D has in­creased by 108%, that for non-military R&D has decreased by 22%

Even more astonishing is that the military R&D is now estimated to be 72.7% of the total.

- John Dove

Surviving as a species

I really like the way the BULLETIN has developed. There seems to be a common trend in the recognition of the complexity of the problems which we face in surviving as a race, or rather species. It seems to be a question of brain power out of control.

The scientific approach is usually to restrict the variables in order to find the effect of one or two of them on a given system. The question facing us is to understand the overall picture and implement solutions. The Bulletin is helping.

- C. Leroy Saunders

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ISSN 1925-170X (Print) | ISSN 1925-1718 (Online)