sl T McCOWAN, is concerned with the dangers of nuclear blackmail and rightly so. But isn't that the situation we are in at the present'? The whole of mankind held to ransom by the monstrous 'overkill' potential of the superpowers. Yet. not content with the capacity to annihilate us all many times over. the arms race continues unabated.
I suppose if the nuclear balance could be maintained at a low key and mutual deterrence really existed we might accept it. We might overcome any moral objections. .After all. one's God will either allow one to threaten to burn alive, blow to pieces, or irradiate millions of men, women and children or not. This is a matter for us all to reconcile with our own consciences.
For goodness sake let's not think that we can continue to muddle through on the lie that is deterrence. 11' we are to survive, disarmament MUST take place. Then, as we are, in Europe, the theatre where they will start the war in. let's start here. Cruise. Trident and the U.S. military machine we house in Britain must go. Support for the magnificent overgrowing in strength peace movements which are spreading across Europe must be given. As T. M McCowan says "Nuclear weapons cannot be uninvented" but surely that doesn't mean we have to blow the world up'?
The first country that throws off the yoke of nuclear suicide they have made for themselves will set mankind on the right path. We have a good chance to make it Britain.
John Gurden Hastings MR McCOWAN states many sound reasons as to why we should not abandon our security to the supposed panacea of unilateralism. Indeed Russian military strategists have declared that they will not discard nuclear weapons in the event of unilateral disarmament in the west. Humanly speaking therefore, the only way forward seems to be the slow but hopefully successful route of multilateral disarmament, where the balance in weaponry secures world peace. For what is at stake is our way of life and possibly our lives.
Yet I cannot truly be at peace with that answer as a personal decision essentially because the arms race continues unabated.
Sometimes the Gospel message is so stark that we tend to avoid it. Many multilateralist defenders appear to forget that God also has plans for the world he created. whether people accept him or not. His Holy Spirit, who is still working to renew the face of the earth can also 'turn hearts of stone into hearts of flesh'. We have to trust God Our Father just as Jesus did and pray for that hope to be realised.
What we really fear is that God's solutions do not quite coincide with our Own. Yet this generation is being called to walk on the waters of faith in
%cry stormy seas and our eyes have to be on Jesus who is the way. the truth and the life. There is no other.
Peter Rosair Kent
II W.-E disarm Russia would be tempted to roll her tanks into Western Europe, especially as her economy is a great deal worse than our own. The most obvious path to world peace therefore is the creation of a just world svhere everyone has enough to eat. Justice and peace go together: one cannot exist without the other. This has been said so many times that one wonders why it doesn't penetrate the minds of those in power.
Mary Bartly York
M r McCOWAN declares that so far "deterrence" has prevented nuclear war; I think it would be nearer the truth to say that it is increasingly likely to hid to prevent nuclear war.
That is as good as saying that the word is losing its meaning. for it will %%ills need to fail once to prove that it does not work, and by then it will be too late, for Europe at least. (Unless nuclear weapons are used in the Middle East or Southern Africa first).
It is true that the Russians are deploying the SS20 missiles in Eastern Europe, but equally true that the American administration of the moment is only too happy to be able to use this as a "valid" reason for escalation in Western Europe.
In actual fact, the strategy behind the build-up of "theatre" nuclear weapons: (the Cruise and Pershing missiles) was already American Government policy long before Presidential Directive No. 59, at which it was publicly announced. (December 1979) It is this "flexible response" strategy; which will allow the Americans to sacrifice Europe on the altar of super power imperialism and simultaneously remove the threat of "Cominunist expansionism", thus preserving the eternal values of Capitalism for a grateful remnant at non-radio-active humanity, of which M. T. McCowan seems to be unaware.
Let us by all means preserve conventional defences: military experts can apply these in a meaningful way. But let us try to get rid of our traditional prejudices with regard to the 'Us and themof Super-Power allegiance. Both need the chance to step back From the brink of nuclear holocaust, and we, the geographically vulnerable, need to consider selfpreservation.
Mr J Parkinson Cheshire ONE OF THE things that ordinary intelligent people feel militates against the prospects for world peace is the habit, now embedded in the political language of East and West. of designating each other as 'the enemy'.
It would, perhaps. he optimistic to expect the frightened and indoctrinated Russians to abandon this belief; the best hope must be that a renunciation will come from enlightened Western leadership, Meantime I suggest that Daniel Counihan's so-called news analysis (Sept II) is no help to this hope. The tendentious language seems to be little different in potential from the cruder distortion of events put out by lzvestia and Pravda to influence the minds of their gullible readers.
First, the headline declares that 'Soviet agents could have shot the Pope. So could agents of the CIA, could they not? Perhaps in order to persuade willing neutrals to pin it on 'the enemy"?
And is not the first line of the text a buck-passing give-away — 'British Press suggestions ... followed by unqualified quotation from television and The Times? Then comes. 'suggestions are that there may have been an international plot ..' and the repeated suggestion of a plot 'possibly involving the Soviet KGB.' which is highly suggestive matter for speculation.' Mr Counihan conceded that The Times and television 'did not produce anything that amounts to conclusive evidence ...' Well, so far as my extensive reading goes they didn't produce a shred of evidence of arty kind, and Mr Counihan must know this.
The rest of the article is studded with unwarranted innuendo, and I take one example that might escape the less attentive reader. Counihan says that the would-be assassin travelled 'a complex route stopping off in centres where Soviet bloc secret services are known to be active.' So, are not these also the very centres where American and other Western secret services are active'?
Ronald Harker North Yorkshire