"Perhaps the most graphic example of the relationship between human rights and peace is the
right of peace groups to exist and to promote their views. In fact, the treatment of peace
groups may be a litmus test of governments' true desire for peace."
--President Ronald Reagan,
to the United Nations General Assembly, Assembly,
September 24, 1984.
WASHINGTON-U.S. President Ronald Reagan told college students yesterday not to believe
everything he says. "Check me out, check everybody out," he said in an interview with
a college radio network, urging students not to become the "sucker generation."
(Explained in my April 15, 1988 statement to then-Canadian International Trade Minister
Ms. b>Pat Carney):
"According to Robert Scheer's book, 'WITH ENOUGH SHOVELS: Reagan, Bush & Nuclear War',
(copyright 1982 by Robert Scheer):
'The Western countries...possess a great deal of highly accurate information on the
specifics of the Soviet force make-up gleaned from constant and increasingly precise
satellite surveillance, as well as from old-fashioned spying. But this vast amount of
material has to be submitted to intelligence analysis before its meaning becomes clear.
To do this, however, involved interpretation based on the skills and experience of U.S.
intelligence agencies, particularly the CIA, which has traditionally attempted to evaluate
Soviet strength in an objective manner.
One reason for the current confusion is that this objectivity was seriously compromised
under the administration of CIA Director George Bush with the help of some key founders of
the Committee on the Present Danger. These events occurred in 1976, and they were to have a
profound effect on our evaluation of the Soviet threat and on the course of presidential
politics...The objective procedures by which the CIA formerly evaluated the scope and nature
of the Soviet threat may thus have been the first casualty of the new Cold War.'
In essence one could interpret Mr. Scheer's closing remarks to mean that truth was
'the first casualty of the new Cold War.'"
(Explained in my September 1, 1988 statement to then-Canadian International Trade Minister
Ms. Pat Carney:
"Re George Bush's tenure as CIA DIRECTOR, the August 22, 1988 Time story, 'The
Ultimate Loyalist', reported the following (relating to what i explained previously to
you is recorded in Robert Scheer's book, 'WITH ENOUGH SHOVELS: Reagan, Bush & Nuclear
'...His one offense to the honor of the agency was opening its files extensively to
critics outside the Government, and that was done in response to President Ford's effort
to placate the growing revolt of right-wingers. They believed the CIA estimates of
Soviet strength were understated. Bush appointed a committee of outsiders ("Team B") to
use the same evidence CIA professionals had at their disposal and come up with their own
estimate of Soviet strength. Four of the nine members of Team B, including its chairman
Richard Pipes, would become members of the Committee on the Present Danger, a hard-line
anti-detente group. Everyone knew the group was stacked--Ray Cline, a CIA loyalist,
called it a kangaroo court. But its alarmist estimates helped set the stage for the
vast defense expenditures that began under Carter and peaked during the buying frenzy at
the Reagan Pentagon.
Bush does not even mention Team B in his autobiography. I asked why. "I didn't think
of it. Glad to talk about it. I think it was a very worthwhile exercise. Many people
misunderstand what the exercise was. It was about challenging the objectivity of the
Government--how objective is it, or how subjective is it. Get two teams--one of internal
people, one of external people--give each the same information, and do they reach the
same conclusion? No. That's why I answer my question as I did--how do you measure
intentions? It is very difficult, different, when you are dealing solely with numbers.
And it was a very good, sensible exercise, of which I am proud." But wasn't this a
group whose views were predictable? "Sure. But I proved a point there. I proved that
the objectivity of intelligence should be challenged. It had nothing to do with whether
we were going to change direction." To everyone but Bush, changing direction was the
point of the exercise.'"
"It can be said that man suffers whenever he experiences any kind of evil. In the
vocabulary of the Old Testament, suffering and evil are identified with each other. In fact,
that vocabulary did not have a specific word to indicate 'suffering.' Thus it defined as
'evil' everything that was suffering. Only the Greek language, and together with it the New
Testament (and the Greek translations of the Old Testament), use the verb '[Greek word;
not possible to reproduce here]'--'I am affected by..., I experience a feeling, I suffer';
and, thanks to this verb, suffering is no longer directly identifiable with (objective) evil,
but expresses a situation in which man experiences evil and in doing so becomes the subject
of suffering. Suffering has indeed both a subjective and a passive character (from
'patior'). Even when man brings suffering on himself, when he is its cause, this
suffering remains something passive in its metaphysical essence.
This does not mean however that suffering in the psychological sense is not marked by a
specific 'activity.'This is in fact that multiple and subjectively differentiated
'activity' of pain, sadness, disappointment, discouragement or even despair, according to the
intensity of the suffering subject and his or her specific sensitivity. In the midst of what
constitutes the psychological form of suffering there is always an experience of evil,
which causes the individual to suffer.
Thus the reality of suffering prompts the question about the essence of evil: What is evil?
This question seems, in a certain sense, inseparable from the theme of suffering. The
Christian response to it is different, for example, from the one given by certain cultural and
religious traditions which hold that existence is an evil from which one needs to be liberated.
Christianity proclaims the essential good of existence and the good of that which exists,
acknowledges the goodness of the Creator and proclaims the good of creatures. Man
suffers on account of evil, which is a certain lack, limitation or distortion of good. We
could say that man suffers because of a good in which he does not share, from which in
a certain sense he is cut off, or of which he has deprived himself. He particularly suffers
when he 'ought'--in the normal order of things--to have a share in this good, and does not
Thus, in the Christian view, the reality of suffering is explained through evil, which
always, in some way, refers to a good.
8. In itself human suffering constitutes as it were a specific 'world' which exists
together with man, which appears in him and passes, and sometimes does not pass, but which
consolidates itself and becomes deeply rooted in him. This world of suffering, divided into
many, very many subjects, exists as it were 'in dispersion.' Every individual, through
personal suffering, constitutes not only a small part of that 'world,' but at the same time
that world is present in him as a finite and unrepeatable entity. Parallel with this,
however, is the interhuman and social dimension. The world of suffering possesses as it were
its own solidarity. People who suffer become similar to one another through the
analogy of their situation, the trial of their destiny, or through their need for understanding
and care, and perhaps above all through the persistent question of the meaning of suffering.
Thus, although the world of suffering exists 'in dispersion,' at the same time it contains
within itself a singular challenge to communion and solidarity. We shall also try to
follow this appeal in the present reflection.
Considering the world of suffering in its personal and at the same time collective meaning,
one cannot fail to notice the fact that this world, at some periods of time and in some eras
of human existence, becomes as it were particularly concentrated. This happens, for
example, in cases of natural disasters, epidemics, catastrophes, upheavals and various social
scourges: one thinks, for example, of a bad harvest and connected with it--or with various
other causes--the scourge of famine.
One thinks, finally, of war. I speak of this in a particular way. I speak of the last two
World Wars, the second of which brought with it a much greater harvest of death and a much
burden of human sufferings. The second half of our century, in its turn, brings with it--
as though in proportion to the mistakes and transgressions of our contemporary
civilization--such a horrible threat of nuclear war that we cannot think of this period
except in terms of an incomparable accumulation of sufferings, even to the possible
self-destruction of humanity. In this way, that world of suffering which in brief has its
subject in each human being, seems in our age to be transformed--perhaps more than at any
other moment--into a special 'world': the world which as never before has been transformed
by progress through man's work and, at the same time, is as never before in danger because
of man's mistakes and offenses."...
--Pope John Paul II, 1984, 'ON THE
CHRISTIAN MEANING OF HUMAN SUFFERING'
(quoted in June 5, 1992 statement to then Premier of British Columbia Mike Harcourt.
Incidentally, in that statement to him i referred him to the following by former Prime
Minister Of Canada Pierre E. Trudeau, from a July 28, 1979 Toronto Star article,
originally in a November 1944 JEC (Jeresse etudiante catholique) article in French (the
English translation by Clarke Irwin):
"...I do not want you to think that the mind is subjected to a healthy discipline
merely by worrying about simplistic problems.
I only wish to remind you of that principle of logic which states that valid
conclusions do not generally follow from false premises."
"If you don't meet the right people you could go around like the Ancient Mariner, knocking
on doors forever."
--Premier Mike Harcourt tells potential Chinese investors in Beijing that the B.C.
government supplies "the juice, the clout, the credibility" for business.
(quoted in May 1, 1993 Vancouver Sun, page B2)