Dateline: May 18, 2003

This is the weekly electronic information service of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility

Editor: Tobias Damjanov, e-mail: 
WNII is archived at: http://inesglobal.org/archive.htm    
INES homepages: http://inesglobal.org       http://www.inesglobal.com/
INES International Office   
INES Chair: Prof. Armin Tenner    [Please note that the first "1" in q18 is the number one, while the last "l" is an "L"]

CONTENTS of WNII No. 15/2003


New INESAP Information Bulletin out now

The latest Information Bulletin (No. 21, April 2003) of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation (INESAP) carries the following:

For a copy, send your request to: < >

USA: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation "The Sunflower", May 2003, No. 72

The May 2003 issue of "The Sunflower" covers the following:

Back issues of The Sunflower are available at: http://www.wagingpeace.org/sf/backissues.html 


US embassy launches reconstruction website (Source: Jordan Times, 7 May 03)

On 6 May, the US Embassy in Amman, Jordan, launched a new Iraqi reconstruction website Tuesday, dedicated to informing companies about American government support for Iraq reconstruction efforts and opportunities for businesses here, according to an embassy statement.

When accessing this new page, users will find information about contracts awarded to date by the US government and those that remain outstanding. There are also statements from the American government on reconstruction activities in the war-torn nation, as well as links to local and international press reports related to reconstruction activities, according to the embassy.

The web page can be accessed through at: http://www.usembassy-amman.org.jo and then clicking on the "Iraq Reconstruction" link on the left-hand side of the page.

US government efforts to begin the reconstruction of Iraq are being led by the US Department of Defence's Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA), in association with the US Agency for International Development and the US Department of Commerce, according to the statement. The agencies, the statement added, are helping identify and prioritise critical reconstruction and humanitarian assistance needs, and are in the process of contracting private companies with much of the initial reconstruction work.

U.S. Colonel Admits 500 Tons of D.U. Were Used in Iraq (Source: Jay Shaft, Coalition For Free Thought In Media, 5 May 03)

In three separate interviews a U.S. Special Operations Command Colonel admitted that the U.S. and Great Britain fired 500 tons of D.U. munitions into Iraq. He has also informed that the G.B.U.-28 BLU 113 Penetrator Bunker Buster 5000 pound bomb contains D.U. in the warhead. He further admitted that privately the Pentagon has acknowledged the health hazards of D.U. for years. He asked to remain unnamed for obviously apparent safety reasons, and so that he may remain a valuable source of information. Jay Shaft, who has published one of the interviews stated, he had verified his identity and that his information is mostly accurate.

The full text of the interview with Jay Shaft is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.

NOTE in addition a new DU-related website which is being operated by the Energy Justice Network. The website contains a very useful collection of DU lists and links:  http://www.energyjustice.net/nuclear/du/ 

Iraqi villagers suffer radiation sickness after looting nuclear power plants (Source: The Telegraph, 11 May 03)

Doctors fear that hundreds of Iraqis may be suffering from radiation poisoning, following the widespread looting of the country's nuclear facilities. Seven nuclear facilities have been damaged or effectively destroyed by ransackers since the end of the war. Technical documents, sensitive equipment and barrels containing radioactive material are believed to have been stolen. Many residents in villages close to the huge Tuwaitha Nuclear Facility, about seven miles south of Baghdad, were showing signs of radiation illness last week, including rashes, acute vomiting and severe nosebleeds.

As Saddam Hussein's regime collapsed last month villagers began looting barrels of the uranium oxide, known as "yellowcake", from the site, which they then emptied to use to store water, milk and yoghurt.

Local hospitals have seen an influx of patients complaining of similar symptoms. "A lot of people seem to be affected," said one doctor. "It is deeply worrying."

Villagers said Iraqi officials arrived recently with Geiger counters. One said the men had measured areas where locals had emptied the contents of stolen barrels. "The Geiger counters were screaming," he said, adding that the officials had then instructed them to cover the areas in concrete.

The failure to secure the nuclear sites has fuelled criticism of American forces in Iraq. It is known that at the Tuwaitha facility there were significant quantities of partially enriched uranium, cesium, strontium and cobalt.

Besides Tuwaitha and the adjacent Baghdad Nuclear Research Centre, the Ash Shaykhili Nuclear Facility, the Baghdad New Nuclear Design Centre and the Tahadi Nuclear Establishment have all been looted.

March for Peace to Baghdad (Source: IPB mailing, 12 May 03)

On the following websites you can find the proposal for a March for Peace to Baghdad this summer:


Abolition 2000 homepage: http://www.abolition2000.org  Grassroots News: http://www.napf.org/abolition2000/news/ 

More news on the NPT PrepCom in Geneva

On the NPT PrepCom Chairman summary (Source: Jim Wurst; UN Wire, 9 May 03):  
On 9 May, this year's NPT Preparatory Committee meeting ended. It was the second of three preparatory meetings leading up to the 2005 review conference for the treaty. The 2004 preparatory meeting is expected to make recommendations to the 2005 review conference. Therefore, this preparatory meeting was not expected to produce any concrete recommendations. 
In his summary report of the meeting, Ambassador Laszlo Molnar of Hungary, the chairman of the Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review Conference, wrote that states "stressed the increasingly grave threat to the treaty and international security posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, biological and chemical. … The gravity of this threat reinforces the need to strengthen the treaty." Molnar's summary will be the starting point for the work next year.

North Korea, which withdrew from the treaty earlier this year, and Iran were criticized for not complying with the treaty in pursuit of nuclear weapons, while the nuclear weapons powers, in particular the United States, were criticized for not pursuing nuclear disarmament. The United States was also criticized for embracing military doctrines that envision more uses for nuclear weapons.

The summary made an oblique reference to concerns about U.S. nuclear policies by saying, "Concern and uncertainty about existing nuclear arsenals, new approaches to the future role of nuclear weapons, as well as the possible development of new generations of nuclear weapons were expressed."

The United States was particularly vocal during the session in charging that Iran is developing nuclear weapons in violation of the NPT. Andrew Semmel of the United States said he was pleased that Iran was specifically named, but "the summary has not gone far enough." He said, "Iran poses as fundamental a challenge as the NPT has ever faced." While under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, Iran is developing technology "intended to support a nuclear weapons program," he added.

Amir Zamaninia of Iran said the U.S. allegation "clearly illustrates the U.S. policy of double standards" of accusing Iran while the United States is not complying with its disarmament obligations and ignoring the issue of nuclear weapons in Israel, which Zamaninia called "a proven and established proliferator." Israel is the only Middle East country not party to the NPT.

The paragraph on Iran in Molnar's summary noted that Iran has been asked to sign a new protocol with the IAEA that would give the agency greater access to the country's nuclear facilities to better judge if Iran is in full compliance with the NPT. Such a protocol would "enhance the confidence of states parties and help eliminate concerns regarding [Iran's] nuclear program," the summary said. But the summary did not repeat any of the charges the United States made.

With regard to a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East, the summary said the goal "remained valid" and "called upon Israel to accede to the treaty as soon as possible and to place its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards."

The summary also called on India and Pakistan to renounce their nuclear weapons and join the NPT as non-nuclear states. Only India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea are not parties to the NPT. East Timor ratified earlier this week, bringing the total of states parties to 188.

Abolition 2000 cooperation with Mayors for Peace and mobilisation for NPT

On 15 May, Xanthe Hall (IPPNW Germany) has disseminated the following information:

" After existing for 8 years, I am proud to announce that members of Abolition 2000 have once again discovered an exciting new proposal to revive the disarmament process and attract attention to the issue of the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Mayor Akiba of Hiroshima is launching a campaign within the "Mayors for Peace" movement to push for an accelerated timeline for the abolition of nuclear weapons. NGOs from Abolition 2000 in Geneva for the NPT PrepCom, that has just ended, have picked up on this idea and propose to work with mayors and cities (also involving the UN Peace Messager Cities, Nuclear Free Local Authorities and signers of the Abolition 2000 City Resolution) over the next two years to involve them in the NPT process. As Jackie Cabasso said "Nations have failed us, now it is time to turn to municipal democracy". Some details of this and further proposals are contained in the minutes of a founding meeting of the Abolition 2000 "NPT Mobilisation Group" and a letter to Akiba from Aaron Tovish of the NGO Committee on Disarmament. [These documents are available from the WNII Editor as rtf-formatted email attachments.]

Anyone is welcome to join the NPT mobilisation group and can subscribe to the list serve by writing a message to:

< >  without any text.

Best wishes to you all"

Briefing papers on North Korea

Both papers are available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.

US Senate panel votes to end low-yield nukes ban (Source: Associated Press, 9 May 03)

On 9 May, a Senate committee said it had voted to lift a decade-old ban on the research and development of low-yield nuclear weapons, overriding Democratic arguments that repeal would damage U.S. efforts to stop the spread of nuclear arms.

"This is a major shift in American policy," said Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the panel's top Democrat. "It just sort of makes a mockery of our argument around the world that other countries--India, Pakistan-- should not test and North Korea and Iran should not obtain."

But John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said, "Without committing to deployment, research on low-yield nuclear weapons is a prudent step to safeguard America from emerging threats and enemies."

The committee agreed to lift the ban as part of a bill authorizing US$400.5 billion in 2004 defense activities. The measure was approved in closed session.

The total is slightly more than the amount requested by the Bush administration and about 4.7 percent more than was appropriated by Congress last year. The bill does not include the cost of the Iraq war, part of which was included in an US$80 billion spending package approved last month.

Low-yield nuclear weapons have warheads of less than five kilotons, or about a third of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in World War II. Combined with precision missiles, low-yield weapons could be used to hit a target without causing as much damage to surrounding areas as other nuclear weapons would. The weapon would burrow into the earth and detonate, making it potentially useful against deep underground bunkers. The bill authorizes US$15 million to continue studying it.

Opponents of the weapons question whether they are needed, given the force of the United States' conventional arsenal. Some fear they would make presidents less reluctant to use nuclear weapons in war.


USA: The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) (Source: MoveOn Bulletin, 9 May 03; provided by INES Executive Committee Member Jiri Matousek)

The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) is a Washington-based neo-conservative think-tank founded in 1997 to "rally support for American global leadership." PNAC's agenda runs far deeper than regime change in Iraq. Its statement of principles begins with the assertion that "American foreign and defense policy is adrift" and calls for "a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity."

While their tone is high-minded, their proposal is unilateral military intervention to protect against threats to America's status as the lone global superpower. The statement is signed by such influential figures as Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Dan Quayle, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz.

PNAC is not alone, nor did it arise from new wells of power. Most of the founding members of PNAC held posts in the Reagan or elder Bush administration and other neo-conservative think-tanks, publications, and advocacy groups.

The effect of PNAC's ideology is great on Bush -- the presidential candidate who promised a "humble," isolationist foreign policy. The events of September 11, 2001 provided a window of opportunity for furthering PNAC's agenda of American empire. Understanding that agenda can help us anticipate the Bush administration's next steps and organize accordingly.

Useful links extracted from the MoveOn Bulletin

You can subscribe to the MoveOn Bulletin at:  http://www.moveon.org/moveonbulletin/ 


2nd Nagasaki Global Citizens' Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

For more details, contact the Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace: < >


No new or changed email or web addresses in this issue.  All INES e-mail addresses and homepages are available upon request from: