Smaller nations must side with France

The smaller nations want Washington’s economic support, says David Dewitt, political science professor in York University’s Faculty of Arts and director of the York Centre for International & Security Studies, in a Toronto Star story March 9 about jockeying at the United Nations over war against Iraq. “But in the long term, they have to get into bed with France and Germany, even though they know those countries are mercurial and will always act, as they are acting now, in their own interests.”

UN-backed war just as immoral

“An immoral and unjust war on Iraq is no less one because the Security Council caves in to pressure from the US and authorizes it,” writes Michael Mandel, a professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School and co-chair of the international Lawyers Against the War, in an opinion piece in the Toronto Star March 10. “‘It is necessary to insist that a UN-backed war would be as immoral and unjust as the one being plotted in the Pentagon – because it will be the same war.’ Those are the words of Tariq Ali from a recent article in the British newspaper The Guardian, in which he recounts the history of failure by the United Nations, and by the League of Nations before it, to fulfil the cardinal mission of preventing aggressive war.”

Saddam’s disarmament

“I think everything indicates that Saddam Hussein has no intention of disarming and that his bluff is up and this is what might be called voodoo disarmament. It’s not fooling the major players in terms of those who are prepared to follow up the Security Council resolutions in the past, and it won’t be allowed to go on for very much longer,” Anne Bayefsky, a political science professor in York University’s Faculty of Arts, told “CBC News and Current Affairs” host Wendy Mesley March 7. Bayefsky is currently teaching law in New York at Columbia University.

Novelist Ross King earned PhD at York

“They say if you are a writer and you don’t have enough rejection slips to paper your living room, you are not trying hard enough,” says novelist Ross King, who earned a PhD in 18th-century English literature from York University in 1992. On that score, he should stick to paint, writes Sandra Martin in a Globe and Mail profile March 8 marking the publication of his new novel Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling. “I heard around the time I had my book accepted that you had a one-in-80 chance of getting a job in teaching in a university if you had a PhD in English literature, and a one-in-2,000 chance of being taken from the slush pile. So I missed the one-in-80, but I got the long shot, the one-in-2,000.”

Basketball coach a GTA all-star

The Toronto Sun listed Tom Oliveri, assistant coach of York’s Yeomen basketball team and head coach of the Ontario men’s Under 17 Basketball Team, among GTA All-Stars in the March 9 ‘Coaches’ Panel’.

York hoopsters celebrated in Hamilton

York University is celebrating the success of three of its fine young men from the Hamilton area, writes a Spectator sports columnist March 8, competing this weekend in two of the nation’s most prestigious basketball tournaments: OFSAA ‘AAAA’ boys’ basketball and the CIS Nationals. Ryan French of Burlington was named Ontario University Athletics East Most Valuable Player and first team all-star; Tom McChesney of Ancaster was named to the second team all-star; and Jordan Foebel of Ancaster was named to the OUA East all-rookie team.

York grad re-elected to OSSTF

Sheila Vandenberk, who obtained a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in physics from York University and who was former head of mathematics at a North York high school, was re-elected as treasurer on the provincial executive of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), reports Canada News-Wire March 9.

Riverkeeper earned credentials at York

Not only is York University alumna Lara Van Loon, the Ottawa River’s first riverkeeper, charged with the responsibility of caring for and patrolling all of the waterway’s 1,271 kilometres, she has to become an expert on the ecological status of the river while co-ordinating a small army of volunteers in becoming the river’s eyes and ears, reports The Daily Observer (Pembroke) March 7. Van Loon has a master’s degree from the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University and a bachelor’s degree in biology and philosophy.

On air

  • Arthur Haberman, history professor in York University’s Faculty of Arts, talked on “CBC News” March 6 about what will happen if the US goes to war against Iraq without the approval of the UN Security Council.