WHAT'S NEW IN INES?
Dateline: October 5, 2001
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. 39/2001
MEMBERSHIP AND PROJECTS' NEWS
11 September terror attacks: more references
David Krieger: Seven Steps to Improving US and Global Security
The terrorist attacks against the United States have shocked the world and left Americans feeling vulnerable and fearful of future attacks. The US has made a major military deployment to the Middle East and seems intent on military action against Osama bin Laden and possibly Afghanistan and other states that may harbor terrorists or be linked to these attacks. But the military is a blunt instrument that could easily increase the cycle of violence by causing the deaths of more innocent civilians.
The US response to the attacks should adhere to three basic criteria: it should be legal, moral and thoughtful. It should be legal under both domestic and international law, sanctioned by the United Nations, and multilateral in scope. It should be moral in not taking more innocent lives. And it should be thoughtful in asking why this has happened and what can be done to decrease the cycle of violence.
Taking these criteria into account, I would urge the US to implement the following seven policy actions in order to increase both domestic and global security.
1. Protect Americans by improving our intelligence gathering and analysis, and by taking far stronger preventative security measures. Particular emphasis must be placed on preventing weapons of mass destruction from being used by terrorists, and in considering how terrorists might turn other technologies, such as aircraft, into weapons of mass destruction as they did on September 11th. We must make an honest assessment of why our intelligence services failed to prevent the September 11th attacks. Why were known associates of Osama bin Laden, for example, not being effectively tracked by US intelligence services? As a specific example, why did the arrest of a known associate of bin Laden for suspicious behavior at a flight school weeks before the attacks not alert the FBI of the danger to Americans?
2. Work multilaterally to find the perpetrators of the crime and bring them to justice. This should be done under the auspices of the United Nations and the international treaties on terrorism and sabotage. Since the September 11th attack was an international crime against citizens of some 80 countries, the perpetrators should be brought before an International Tribunal established for this purpose.
3. Focus on preventing the use of biological or chemical weapons against population centers. There are indications that the terrorists involved in the September 11th attacks may have been planning chemical or biological attacks with crop dusting planes. Stopping such attacks should be a top priority.
4. Bring all nuclear weapons in the world under control and move rapidly toward banning them under international law. A critical part of this effort is to rapidly reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the worlds arsenals to a controllable number, such as 100 weapons per nuclear weapon state in the short term, so that these weapons can be adequately safeguarded and will not fall into the hands of terrorists. An international inventory of all nuclear weapons, weapons-grade materials and nuclear scientists should also be established. The US should increase its financial and technological support for Cooperative Threat Reduction programs that strengthen non-proliferation efforts in the former Soviet Union while reductions are being made. Plans should be developed for taking control of Pakistans nuclear arsenal in the event that the government of Pakistan should fall to extremists.
5. Provide military protection to all nuclear power plants in the US and urge that these plants be phased out as rapidly as possible. Nuclear power reactors are dormant radiological weapons located in the proximity of major US cities. Flying an airplane into a nuclear reactor or waste storage site could result in a Chernobyl type release of radioactive materials causing panic and enormous potential for death in surrounding populations. Until shut down, all operating nuclear power plants should be protected by military forces, including anti-aircraft weapons. Radioactive waste sites, including those at nuclear power plants, should also be guarded by military forces, as should shipments of all radioactive materials that could be used for nuclear or radiological weapons.
6. Ask the question to ourselves: Why is the United States hated so much that terrorists are willing to commit heinous acts and give their own lives to attack the country? President Bush has expressed his belief that it is because these terrorists hate freedom and democracy. In fact, while the reasons may include an antipathy to American society on social, cultural and economic levels, there is also deep hostility to American policies, including our military presence in the Middle East, our support of a despotic Saudi regime, our conduct of the Gulf War, and our ongoing economic and military support for Israel. If we cannot at least neutralize the intense hatred of the United States by changes in our policies, then no amount of security may be able to protect Americans from future attacks.
7. Use our wealth and power to help make the world more just and equitable, and to uphold human dignity for all persons. In doing so, we will make America safer and the world a more decent place. Throughout the world, there are still some 35,000 children dying quietly each day from malnutrition and preventable diseases. America must assume the responsibility of leadership to uphold justice, human rights and sustainable development. We cannot escape the fact that we are one world and each country must contribute to the security of all. The job must be done globally by the United Nations, but America must not shirk its responsibility for leadership.
The world is at a turning point. By resorting to the old methods of military force, we are likely to intensify the hatred toward the US without substantially reducing the threat of terrorism against us. We should never lose sight of the fact that biological, chemical or nuclear terrorism could be thousands of times worse than what we have witnessed to date. Following the seven-step plan outlined above would provide a comprehensive way to make both the US and the world more secure in all respects.
UK Week Of Science and Peace, 5 - 11 November 2001
UKWOSP2001 is coordinated by Scientists for Global Responsibility, and comprises autonomous events, from 5 to 11 November 2001, promoting the constructive and peaceful use of science and technology. The purpose of the Week is to increase the public impact of individual, autonomous events by publicising them as part of UKWOSP2001. Events can be large or small, local or not. Suitable events range from small informal discussion gatherings to large conferences. Other kinds of event, such as lectures, films, dramas and vigils are also suitable. The core condition is that the event should make a contribution to promoting the constructive and peaceful use of science and technology. UKWOSP2001 can help the advance publicity and subsequent reporting of participating events.
More detail can be found at: http://www.sgr.org.uk/UKWOSP2001.html
The page has links to further background documents. The first version of the list of participating events will be published soon.
Alan Cottey < >
SPECIAL SECTION ON US MISSILE DEFENSE POLICY
"Shield of Dreams" Campaign against National Missile Defense
The US-based "Council for A Livable World Education Fund" has created a new web site: http://www.shieldofdreams.org devoted exclusively to its campaign against national missile defense. The web page will have the latest news stories relating to missile defense, as well as alerts to future legislative action and links that will help citizens contact their Members of Congress, write letters to the editor, and organize their own communities. The Education Fund recently started a weekly e-newsletter Shield of Dreams. Visitors to the new site can subscribe to the newsletter if the want to stay informed on the latest news regarding missile defense.
Abolition 2000 homepage: http://www.abolition2000.org Grassroots News: http://www.napf.org/abolition2000/news/
Second Conference on Facilitating the Entry Into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)
The CTBT conference scheduled for 25-27 September in New York has been postponed (see WNII 24/2001:E1). A new date has not yet been set, but there are some indications that it might take place when the UN General Assembly opens (this was also postponed), possibly mid-October.
2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development: Summary of the UNECE Regional Ministerial Meeting
The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Regional Ministerial Meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) took place from 24-25 September 2001, in Geneva, Switzerland. More than 500 participants attended the session, including ministers, representatives of governments, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs and other major groups and stakeholders.
A comprehensive Summary Report has been published in "Earth Negotiations Bulletin" (Vol. 22 No. 04, 28 Sep 01) which is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.
Daily coverage of this meeting can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/wssd/WSEUR/
(For website references on other Reports from subregional meetings/roundtables see WNII 29/2001)
"Living Without the Labs"
This is the title of an article by Andreas Toupadakis, the nuclear scientist and WNII reader who quit his job at the US Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on principle. In his latest article, published first in The Albuquerque Tribune, 19 Sep 01, Andreas Toupadakis is urging other scientists to do the same. But quitting is tough, and scientists who do so need an organization to support them, he says.
You can find the article at: http://www.abqtrib.com/archives/opinions01/091901_opinions_labs.shtml
Vanunu: Rabbis from Europe and Israel ask Katsav to pardon
Twelve prominent rabbis from Europe and Israel asked Israeli President Moshe Katsav on 25 September to pardon Mordechai Vanunu on "humanitarian grounds." They said his release from jail would "demonstrate the strength of Israeli democracy and improve Israel's standing in the world." (Israeli daily "Ha'aretz," 27 Sep 01). The key points of the petition read:
" & Vanunu was held 11 years in solitary confinement. This is particularly harsh and destructive, and greatly exceeds the court sentence. Vanunu informed a British newspaper without being asked and without being paid. His declared aim was to relieve the world from the horrors of nuclear war. "Without contesting the verdict we, the Rabbis signed below, ask you to exercise your lawful right and pardon Vanunu for humanitarian reasons. His release will express the strength of Israel's democracy and strengthen Israel's status in the world."
For details, contact Gideon Spiro, Israeli Committee for Mordechai Vanunu - For a Middle East Free of Atomic, Biological and Chemical Weaponry: mailto:
"Private Planet: Corporate plunder and the fight back" http://www.private-planet.com
This is the title of a book written by the Southampton(UK)-based scientist (oceanographer) and WNII reader Dr David Cromwell. Published by Jon Carpenter Publishing, David Cromwell examines how and why the forces of globalisation are opposing ecological sustainability, human rights and social justice - and draws on examples from around the world to show what we can do to reverse the process. "Private Planet" takes a critical, new and revealing look at how economic globalisation is destroying human rights and the environment. Citizens are losing power to undemocratic institutions and private corporations - by a process of stealth. This trend is being sold to the public by politicians, the business community and the media as 'inevitable', 'civilised' and 'just'. It isn't.
For orders, contact the author: mailto:
UNIDIR "disarmament forum" two/2001
"The Middle East" is the subject of the latest issue of "disarmament forum" which is published by the UN Institute for Disarmament Research. It carries the following articles:
Articles are published in English and French.
For a print copy: mailto:
CONFERENCES, MEETINGS, SEMINARS
Second World Conference on Technology Advances for Sustainable Development http://www.aast.edu/mceet/
The event aims to provide an interactive forum for manufacturers, technology users, interested technologists, policy makers, and other government officials with the objective of evaluating technical and economic feasibilities, policy reform and regulatory issues, financing and market strategies related to management and development of the key resources needed for sustainable development.
For more details, contact Dr. Fuad Abulfotuh: mailto:
UN International Conference on Financing for Development http://www.un.org/esa/ffd
This conference will bring together high-level representatives from governments, the United Nations, and other leading international trade, finance and development-related organizations.
For more details, contact: Harris Gleckman, Financing for Development Coordinating Secretariat: mailto:
or Federica Pietracci: mailto:
Fourth UNEP International Children's Conference on the Environment http://www.unep.org/children_youth/
The conference is expected to bring together 800 children from 10 to 12 years of age from over 115 countries. The conference will also produce a statement from children to the world leaders who will meet for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development.
For more details, contact Theodore Oben, UNEP: mailto:
INES WEB AND E-MAIL SERVICE
No new or changed email or web addresses in this issue. All INES e-mail addresses and homepages are available upon request from:
< < < < < end of No. 39/2001 what's new in ines < < < < <