24 Dec Two opposite apostles of peace
This is a most appropriate time of the year to think of peace and none think more fervently in the cause of peace than the mothers, wives and other members of the families of those in jeopardy in Vietnam, Nigeria, the Middle East and Korea.
A great many other people are much concerned about the concept of peace. Most of us want world peace, some are more willing than others to go out and become activists for a permanent end to war and violence. Extremists are even willing to fight for peace.
The movement for peace has now attained such proportions that it has not only its middle-of-the-road activists but also its left wing and its conservative right wing.
Naturally the extremists at both ends of the peace spectrum have to be extroverts and eccentrics in their ways or they would hardly attract the attention they need.
Beatle John Lennon is far out in left field for the peaceniks, and he is as different as day from night alongside rightist Stan Burke, the crusader for Biafran peace.
John Lennon, never photographed without his Japanese wife Yoko Ono at his side, is an acknowldged headline hound, and some critics complain that his worldwide campaign promotes Lennon, his writings and his records as much as the cause of peace.
But his unquenchable thirst for public exposure reveals a nutty flavour to the man. Who else would call Pierre Trudeau “beautiful’’? Somebody sourly asked him the other day if he was so interested in promoting peace why wasn’t he doing his thing somewhere where there was fighting going on. like in Vietnam, Biafra or the Middle East. Lennon peered mildly through his gold-rimmed glasses and admitted he is too much of a coward to be anywhere near anywhere bombs or bullets were flying about. Then he was asked about the newspaper ads and the billboards that are appearing with pictures of him and his wife advocating peace, the current cost of which runs to around $72,000. He says he is not at all worried about the investment, since he intends to send the bills to President Nixon.
Burke, the frustrated newsman television made into a pundit by proxy, is as odd as Lennon but in a different way. Convinced that his sporadic conducted tours behind the Biafran lines have made him the only authority on that civil war. he has shown some peevishness that Foreign Affairs Minister Mitchell Sharpe has not flown to Toronto on the Burke bidding to take part in a television news conference arranged by Burke. He says that Canada and the Commonwealth are responsible for the Biafran misery and that Canada’s government lies about our country’s alleged efforts to stop the fighting or get food to the hungry there.