Meat And Missiles

I'd like to comment on two separate but ultimately related issues. First, Anna Jarvis' article "Is Vegetarianism a Peace Issue?" (Peace, Sept/Oct 1996) raises the question as to whether we, as peace activists, can justify the killing of fellow creatures. Every day in Canada, tens of thousands of birds, mammals and fish are extinguished for the meat industry. What are we going to do about it?

Second, I have yet to come across a single investigative report on the U.S. Navy anti-sub torpedo test site, at Nanoose Bay, B.C., on CBC or CTV, or in the Globe and Mail or Maclean's. B.C.'s threat to close the Canadian Forces Maritime and Experimental Test Ranges (CFMETR) has been mentioned many times in the mainstream national media. But people were not informed that the nuclear-powered subs at CFMETR normally carry atomic warheads as they ply the world's oceans or that toxic chemicals like lead are deposited on the Nanoose seabed. Anyone desiring more information can contact End The Arms Race, 405-825 Granville St., Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 1K9.

Shloime Perel, Montreal

With Friends Like These...

According to the U.S. Military's Defense Special Weapons Agency (DSWA), the world has shifted from being a "weapon-rich environment" to a "target-rich environment".

William Arkin, an expert on military intelligence, has uncovered a massive document, the Integrated Database (IDB), which lists some 450,000 worldwide targets for nuclear attack (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July/ Aug 1997). While these targets tend to be clustered in the territories of former and present enemies - such as Russia and Iraq - they are not restricted to these. A subset of the IDB is the "Bombing Encyclopedia" and the Target Data Inventory, which contains targets selected for a variety of war plans. These include the Jericho missile sites in Israel and an entire category coded "CA" for Canada.

Cities and towns, ports and harbours, forests and beaches, are targeted all over the world, for every conceivable enemy in the future, including the member nations of NATO. These documents contain full details of blast, shock and radiation, together with the casualties and blast damage. There is an entire group devoted to targeting "tree blow-down areas" - that is, forests.

Given the potential targets of military significance in B.C., certainly the ports of Vancouver and Victoria and the province's not-yet-cut-down forests would be major targets. Ironically, given the current controversy over the Nanoose weapons testing range on Vancouver Island, that facility is quite likely also a target for nuclear strike.

In these documents we find extreme, if not insane, paranoia, but also a clear violation of the judgement of the International Court of Justice, which last year found that "the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons" is contrary to international humanitarian law. This judgement also casts the USA as the ultimate rogue state, threatening the entire world with nuclear weapons.

F.H. Knelman, Victoria
This letter is excerpted from a longer paper which is available on the
Peace Magazine website at http://www. peacemagazine.org.

Peace Magazine Nov-Dec 1997

Peace Magazine Nov-Dec 1997, page 5. Some rights reserved.

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