When Peter Wills, Deputy Director of Auckland University’s Centre for Peace Studies, penned an article criticising war hero, VC winner Clive Hulme in today’s Sunday Star/Times I saw red.
The article entitled “The Bravest War Hero Can Still Be a Coward in Disguise” took Hulme to task for breaking the rules of war, in donning a German military uniform and using the disguise to get close enough to kill several German soldiers.
Who is this Peter Wills? Who is he to judge our military heroes?
This Socialist Academic Profile looks at Wills’s history as a “peace” activist.
In 1985, Wills was involved the NZ anti Tomahawk Missiles Campaign, working alongside the late Owen Wilkes. He was, at the time also a leading member of “Scientists Against Nuclear Arms”. This organisation was closely allied to International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Engineers for Social Responsibility. All three were regarded as part of the new wave of Soviet “Peace” fronts created in the early ’80s to be less obvious than the completely Soviet dominated World Peace Council.
SANA was founded in Britain in 1981 by scientist Professor Mike Pentz. British Conservative MP, Julian Lewis, wrote a 1995 obituary of Mike Pentz ” Not only was Mike an enemy of nuclear deterrence and of Nato’s doctrine of flexible response, he was also a prominent activist in a number of highly committed political bodies.
As Communist Party candidate for the Barnes Division of Surrey County Council, he polled 216 votes in the 1955 local government elections. As well as being a Vice-Chairman of CND (1981-84), he was a Sponsor of the British arm of the leading Soviet front body, the World Peace Council (WPC). He was Chairman of the J.D. Bernal Peace Library, founded by the former WPC Chairman and lifelong Stalinist Bernal in 1967.
When he set up Scientists Against Nuclear Arms(SANA) in 1981, Mike chose the Morning Star (Communist Party newspaper) as the vehicle for an article explaining “how scientists can arm the peace movement with the facts”.
In May 1984, he went to Moscow at the invitation of the official Soviet Peace Committee to establish links with the Kremlin’s “Scientific Research Council on Problems of Peace and Disarmament”. He was listed as one of four activists due to represent another Soviet front, the World Federation of Scientific Workers, at the 1982 UN Second Special Session on Disarmament.
In January 1987, Peter Wills visited Moscow at the invitation of the Soviet Academy of Science. He was pictured in the pro Soviet, NZ Socialist Unity Party’s “Tribune” (April 13 page 9)in Moscow with Hone Harawira and NZ Ambassador Alison Stokes. He had been invited to the “For a Nuclear-Free World, for the Survival of Mankind” Forum. According to “Tribune” Wills had discussions with Yuri Druzdov, Head of the Asia, Africa and Middle East Department.
Drozdov is regarded as a KGB “legend” and has recently published a book in Russia on his experiences “Fiction Excluded. The Notes of the Chief of Illegal Intelligence” – that’s a name of a new book by the notorious Soviet spymaster Yuri Drozdov published in Russia. For 35 years he worked in the Soviet Foreign intelligence, spying in China, Germany, United States. The book tells of his operation in Germany, where, pretending to be the leader of the Neo-Nazi movement, Drozdov managed to recruit BND officer. Drozdov was also behind creation of the famous Soviet special units as, for example, “Vimpel” – created for special force missions abroad.
According to Pakistan’s “Pak Tribune”
The deployment of the Soviet military contingent in Afghanistan in the end of 1979, warded off the Soviet Union’s collapse by ten or even twelve years, said Yuri Drozdov. He was a KGB department chief at that time.
In March 1987 Wills was interviewed in the SUP’s “Tribune” as a member of SANA. He was involved in campaign with CND to get Auckland Harbour made nuclear-free.
On June 8, 1987, Wills was the first speaker at an Auckland Trades Council Peace Office seminar. He was introduced by the SUP’s Bill Andersen, founder of the World Peace Council’s NZ affiliate, the NZ Council for World Peace”.
In October 1987, Wills represented SANA at a World Peace Council Bureau meeting in Auckland.
In November 1988 Wills was a physics lecturer at Auckland University, based temporarily near Washington DC. He released a technical paper with Owen Wilkes (then a peace researcher with Peace Movement Aotearoa), outlining their case against Black Birch observatory – that it was being used for military purposes and was breaching the Nuclear Free Act of 1987.
In 1990, Wills was working at the Centre for Peace Studies, at Auckland University when he wrote an article for September’s “Peacelink” on chemical weapons use in the Gulf War.
In May 1991 Wills wrote an article for the socialist journal “Agenda” on “Secret Star Wars Plans for Pacific“
In the Mid ’90s, Wills was chairman of Greenpeace NZ.
Just the kind of person to give balanced comment on Clive Hulme’s military exploits.