WHAT'S NEW IN INES?
Dateline: February 25, 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. 3/2003
MEMBERSHIP AND PROJECTS' NEWS
French version of the INES Appeal To Resist War (see WNII 1/2003)
Thanks to French INES member Marc Ollivier, a French translation of the INES Appeal to the International Academic Community is now available. It was already distributed through INESNet. For those who are not subscribers to INESNet, this French version is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.
"The SEU TIMES" No 5 (39) – February 2003
"The SEU TIMES" is the electronic newsletter of the "Socio-Ecological Union", one of the Russian INES member organsiations.
The February 18, 2003 edition is devoted to the International Sea Mammal Protection Day and carries the following:
NOTE in addition that Current Forest News from SEU Territory are now available at: http://www.forest.ru/eng/news
Editor: Sviatoslav Zabelin < > Previous issues of "The SEU Times" may be found at "The Online Gadfly": http://www.igc.org/gadfly
"Hope in a Dark Time"
"Hope in a Dark Time. Reflections on Humanity's Future" is a new book edited by David Krieger. Forwarded by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the publication is an anthology featuring an extraordinary group of visionaries exploring their hopes for humanity amid perilous times. The book presents timely essays about the need to achieve peace and the future that can be ours if we commit ourselves to action. “This book,” writes David Krieger in his Introduction, “Is an invitation to hope and to action. It is an invitation to set aside the obstacles to action, to choose peace and to wage peace. It is an invitation to help shape humanity’s future.”
Among the visionaries included in the book are Queen Noor of Jordan, the Dalai Lama, Daisaku Ikeda, Sir Joseph Rotblat, Elise Boulding, Douglas Roche, Robert Muller, Joanna Macy, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Richard Falk, Frank K. Kelly, Gene Knudsen Hoffman, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Hafsat Abiola, Craig Kielburger and Georgianna Moore.
Copies of the book, which retails for US$17.95, may be ordered from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
THE US POLICY ON IRAQ
Global demonstrations against a possible war on Iraq on 15 February (Source: "Courrier de Genève", 17 February 03; posted by the International Peace Bureau)
At the weekend of 15-16 February, more than 10 million people marched against the war in some 600 cities. Here is a little glimpse of the main events recorded. The numbers are media estimates, either from police or organisers' figures. [Other sources came out with considerably higher estimates, at least for some of the marches listed above; the ed.]
Between 10 000 and 30 000 demonstrators:
It is worth noting that, in addition to these numbers, several marches were quite simply prohibited, like in Istanbul, where 5000 persons nevertheless gathered for a "mass press conference", or in Ceuta on the Spanish territory in Africa. More positively: we should mention the thousands of Jews and Muslims who marched together side by side in Israel.
See also the following web references:
US Senator Robert Byrd: Reckless Administration May Reap Disastrous Consequences
INES Deputy Chair Dr. David Krieger draws attention to a Senate Floor Speech (12 February 2003) by Senator Robert Byrd who criticized the silence and passivity of the US Senate, the "dismal" record of the Bush administration, and examines the serious consequences of a US-led war against Iraq. "Frankly," said Senator Byrd, "many of the pronouncements made by this Administration are outrageous. There is no other word." To David Krieger, Senator Byrd's speech supports the view of Nelson Mandela, who recently described Bush as "a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly...."
The speech is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.
Iraq and the Failures of Democracy
This is the title of an article written by Richard Falk, chair of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and David Krieger, president of the same organisation and INES Deputy Chair. It is either available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment or from David Krieger via < >
Iran, Libya and Syria – next in a row? (Source: Ha'aretz (Israeli daily), 19 February 03)
On 18 February, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was quoted as saying that Iran, Libya and Syria should be stripped of weapons of mass destruction after Iraq. "These are irresponsible states, which must be disarmed of weapons mass destruction, and a successful American move in Iraq as a model will make that easier to achieve," Sharon said to a visiting delegation of American congressmen.
In a meeting with U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton, in charge with arms control and international security, Sharon said that Israel was concerned about the security threat posed by Iran, and stressed that it was important to deal with Iran even while American attention was focused on Iraq. Bolton said in meetings with Israeli officials that he had no doubt America would attack Iraq, and that it would be necessary thereafter to deal with threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea. Bolton also said Syria would get a chance to prove it was behaving in a way worthy of the international community and that dealing with North Korea had not been pushed aside, but postponed.
UNICEF material elaborating on the extreme vulnerability of children in Iraq (Source: Posting of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq, UK, 17 February 03)
"No War on Iraq!" Action Guide
The International Peace Bureau has compiled this international action guide which contains "plans, ideas, contacts, websites" on nine pages (print version). The unique assistance - easy to copy and distribute – follows the questions What shall we do now? What is already planned? You will find here a survey of upcoming anti-war actions: including key dates in March and some of the many dimensions of our very diverse movement.
The Guide is available at: http://www.ipb.org or from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.
US 'virtual march' over Iraq (Source: BBC, 26 February 03; posted by the International Peace Bureau)
On 26 February, thousands of anti-war activists have been bombarding the White House and senators with phone calls and e-mails in a virtual protest over the Iraq crisis. Backed by a number of celebrities, volunteers jammed switchboards in Washington DC in an effort to force US politicians to think again over the prospect of war in the Gulf.
Organisers online democracy group MoveOn say more than 250,000 people signed up to take part in the protest and that many more joined in during the day.
As well as organising the virtual march, MoveOn has paid for a US television advert suggesting that the end result of war in Iraq could be nuclear war.
New campaigning proposals
Impeach Bush et al
The International Peace Bureau informs that former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark has set up a website with a petition addressed to U.S. congressmen asking them to vote for the impeachment of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and John Ashcroft: http://www.votetoimpeach.org
Consumers boycott of the US
Belgian "For Mother Earth" member Pol D'Huyvetter has raised this idea. In a message dated 21 February, he writes, among other things: "As we all know the US is using an amazing amount of economic pressure to get a green light for a war on Iraq (cfr. billions US dollars for Turkey and economical threats for France, Belgium, Germany). We all know this is a very effective tool to get dissidents to line up.
"Shouldn't the global peace movement mobilise for a consumers boycott of the US? By buying US products and services we do also finance the US war economy. Today we have the advantage that many millions might pick up such a call immediately.
"I believe we should in the first place boycott - US oil products - stop traveling to US by plane (…) "Through such a boycott we should call US citizens to rise up and mobilise against their government war policies which are going against the world opinion which wants a peaceful solution of the Iraqi crisis. And we should also ask US citizens to demand immediate disarmament of all US weapons of mass destruction (…)
"Any feedback is welcome.
"I also agree that we need to make people aware of the economical interests of i.e. France in the Middle East. We all know that Chirac's position is not given in by noble intentions or pacifism. (…)"
Pol D'Huyvetter < >
Meanwhile, a corresponding website has been established which contains a call for boycott and a list of products: http://www.motherearth.org/USboycott/
Defending the Charter. The United Nations is not above the Law
The UK-based Institute for Law and Peace has just produced a dossier under the above title. This is a collection of papers on the legality of actions by the United Nations, principally the Security Council, and the principles that should govern those actions.
The dossier is available at: http://www.war.inquiry.freeuk.com/
Useful reference page: UN Arms Inspections in Iraq
(Thanks to the Australian IPPNW branch which made this reference public.)
SPECIAL SECTION ON THE US MISSILE DEFENSE POLICY
European Governments’ Official Positions on Missile Defence
This is the title of a BASIC paper (Occasional Papers on International Security Policy, No 42, February 2003) which you can find at: http://www.basicint.org/pubs/Papers/BP42.htm
Abolition 2000 homepage: http://www.abolition2000.org Grassroots News: http://www.napf.org/abolition2000/news/
USA moves forward towards new nuclear weapons generation (Sources: Oakland Tribune + San Francisco Chronicle, 15 February 03)
Policymakers in the Department of Defense, the armed services and the nuclear weapons design labs are moving forward rapidly in planning for the possible production of a new generation of smaller nuclear bombs and a resumption of nuclear testing, a leaked Bush administration document shows.
In talks at the Pentagon last month, federal defense executives and weapons scientists set the stage for a debate over "selecting first 'small builds'," or choosing tailor-made weapons for limited production runs.
"What's clear is, in this administration, the brakes are off in nuclear development and the push for nuclear testing," said Greg Mello, head of the Los Alamos Study Group (*), an arms-control group in New Mexico that obtained minutes to a meeting on 10 January of top nuclear-weapons advisers titled "Stockpile Stewardship Conference Planning Meeting Minutes." The internal memo outlines the planning for a conference tentatively scheduled for "the week of August 4" -- i.e. the week including the anniversary of Hiroshima -- at which panels of experts would address questions relating to how the country would design new types of nuclear weapons and possibly test them. The conference would also address questions about how the new nuclear policies would be sold to the public and to political leaders.
The revelations are the latest herald of a potential sea change in U.S. nuclear policy:
- On 13 February, House Republicans touted an aggressive new nuclear-weapons policy calling for scientists at Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos labs to begin studying "advanced concepts" for new weapons for the first time since 1994. GOP lawmakers say they also are thinking of repealing a 1993 ban on research into low-yield nuclear weapons, or those with an explosive yield at or below a third of the Hiroshima bomb.
- President Bush's new budget asks for $21 million for design of new or modified nuclear weapons in 2004 which includes $15 million for scientists at Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos national labs to compete for design of a "bunker-buster" bomb called the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator for attacking deeply buried, hardened concrete bunkers. The president also is asking for $6 million for "additional and exploratory studies" of advanced weapons designs.
- White House pronouncements since September lay out a new defense policy giving greater prominence to pre-emptive strikes on foreign weapons of mass destruction. Pentagon war planners already are drawing up contingency plans for a nuclear strike in Iraq, to pre-empt or retaliate for a chemical or biological attack, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
- Nuclear Weapons Council Chairman and Assistant Defense Secretary E.C. "Pete" Aldridge Jr. asked weapons scientists in October "to assess the potential benefits that could be obtained from a return to nuclear testing." Meanwhile, Assistant Defense Secretary for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Weapons Dale Klein has said the nation will have to test within five to 10 years.
Greg Mello finds especially disturbing a portion of the document in which top defense executives and weaponeers ask themselves "what should the policy and practice be for granting authority to adapt and build small quantities?"
Traditionally, only the president may authorize the production of a nuclear weapon. The conversation to Mello suggests lax oversight and control of the nation's key nuclear weapons agencies at the Defense and Energy departments. "That you would even talk about that would suggest the democratic governance of these institutions is already very, very weak. Every member of Congress should sit up and take notice that we are losing congressional oversight of the nuclear weapons program of the United States."
(*)The original documents are at the homepage of the Los Alamos Study Group: http://www.lasg.org
See also a new page on the Western States Legal Foundation web site which has links to other U.S. government documents concerning efforts to develop nuclear weapons with new capabilities, and related research on nuclear weapons effects: http://www.wslfweb.org/nukes/ssmeetexc.htm
INES member Alice Slater, USA, informs that the Independent Media Center in New York City has put together a poster map of the US showing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons sites on it (along with lots of other information): http://nyc.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=43796&group=webcast
Global nuclear stockpiles, 1945-2002
This is a timely article in "The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists", Vol. 58, November/December 2002, "Nuclear Notebook" section. You can find it at: http://www.thebulletin.org/issues/nukenotes/nd02nukenote.html
This year's Abolition 2000 General Meeting
It is planned to have the Abolition 2000 General Meeting on May 3, 2003 in Geneva during the NPT PrepCom.
For further details, please contact Maryna Harrison, Outreach and Development Coordinator, Abolition 2000: < >
US President Bush Releases National Strategy for Combating Terrorism
(Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 14 February 03)
On 14 February, US President Bush announced the issuing of the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism. According to Bush, "This strategy outlines the effort our nation is making to win the war against global terror. The strategy complements important elements of the National Security Strategy, as well as our National Strategies for: Homeland Security, to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Secure Cyberspace, for the Physical Protection of Critical Infrastructure and Key Assets, and the National Drug Control Strategy."
The National Strategy for Combating Terrorism can be found at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/counter_terrorism/counter_terrorism_strategy.pdf
News from the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)
CONFERENCES, MEETINGS, SEMINARS
Dear friends of peace, It is a sad reality that many thousands of innocent citizens are being killed in wars and thus robbed of their fundamental human right - right to life. The cruelty of wars has been stepped up continuously. In the past it was men in uniforms who were dieing in wars and killed civilians were an exception. At present it is the innocent civilians, including women and children, who are dieing and killed soldiers have become an exception. In the past always part of the human society survived. Now for the first time in the history of mankind real danger exists that when existing weapons of mass destruction used, human society shall not survive. The need to survive concerns us all. We are living now in a situation of militarization of politics by one world power resulting in alarming extent of threat of wars. This nonhuman direction of development has to be stopped. The alternative is "Europe in a World of Permanently Sustainable Peace".
For more details, mailto:
Building the Information Commonwealth: Information Technologies and Building Prospects for the Development of Civil Society Institutions in the CIS Countries http://www.communities.org.ru/conference
For more details, please contact the Organizing Committee: < >
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. 3/2003 what's new in ines < < < < <