Dateline: March 11, 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. 5/2003



Open Letter to Chirac and Schröder (forwarded to WNII as of 10 March 03)

Open Letter to the President of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac, to the Federal Chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schröder

Your Excellencies, As an international network of thousands of scientists and engineers around the World dedicated to the peaceful progress of humankind we are deeply worried about the seemingly unstoppable preparations for a war against Iraq. We oppose this US-led war and support all non-violent opposition to it. We appeal to you as representatives of two nations dedicated to a peaceful solution, and in your capacities as a permanent member and as the current chairman of the Security Council, to resist the US pressure and say NON and NEIN to the efforts to gain UN Security Council approval for a unilaterally declared war.

The next meeting of the Security Council will go down into history as a landmark date, either of strengthening the rule of law even against a militarily most dominant superpower, or as the ultimate surrender of the rule of law to the rule of power. The latter, from an old but more than ever relevant European experience, would mean to fall back not only behind the model of international regulation established by the 20th century Briand-Kellog-Pact and the UN Charter, but even behind the minimum standards of international rights established to end the 17th century 30 years war in the Westphalian peace.

We call upon you to defend these essential achievements of modern civilization, and we assure you our fullest support in this respect. The future of the United Nations and international law is at stake, and – unlike some comments try to suggest - the UN will lose its relevance not if the Security Council follows an appeal to reason and against war, but if it agrees to a doctrine of pre-emptive wars declared by the remaining superpower.

We support your suggestion that diplomacy and politics must be the priority instruments in the strive for the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction, which is also one of the core objectives we are actively supporting in all continents. In this sense – not in the intention to wage war on unruly subjects – Iraq can only be the beginning.

For all these reasons, we call upon the President of the French Republic, in defending the values France has been symbolising for more than 200 years, if necessary to make use of his Veto to save the credibility of the United Nations, limit the damage already done for the peaceful relations of nations, and to prevent a war as far as possible.

For the same reasons, we call upon the Federal Chancellor of Germany to share the history lesson that Germany has learnt, that a war except in immediate self defence can never be a justifiable instrument of politics. We urge upon his Excellency Gerhard Schröder to use his highly symbolic position as the acting chairman of the Security Council to denounce any claimed military solution.

Your Excellencies, scientists and engineers are a traditional voice of reason. We strongly hope that our support for a peaceful solution, and in particular for saving the credibility of the UN system and rule of law will contribute to encourage you and others to continue withstanding the US pressure. The fact that the majority of the World population shares our concerns, and in particular the people of France and Germany, makes us expect that you will sustain the choice for reason, law and peace in this historic situation.

Prof. Armin Tenner, chairman, Netherlands Dr. David Krieger, deputy chairman, USA

UK: Scientists for Global Responsibility "Thinking About an Ethical Career in Science and Technology"

A unique, new set of briefings that provide insight into the ethical dimensions of various science and technology careers has been launched on 7 March by Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR). The series, entitled "Thinking About an Ethical Career in Science and Technology," is aimed in particular at the large numbers of science and engineering students and graduates known to be concerned about the ethical implications of available career choices. The first three briefings have been released to coincide with the start of National Science Week. They provide in-depth analysis of ethical controversies within three industry/research sectors together with guidance on how to make an ethical career choice within those fields.

The three new briefings are:

Further briefings will be published over the coming months, covering topics that include the military and space technology; ethics and genetics; assessing the sustainability of your career; nuclear issues; and military involvement in science and technology.

Copies of the briefings can be downloaded from SGR's ethics web-page:  http://www.sgr.org.uk/ethics.html 


David Krieger: Open Letter to Colin Powell

An Open Letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell: Now is the time to resign in protest

Dear Secretary Powell:

Your country has never needed you more than it needs you now.

As a soldier, you know the pain and suffering that war brings. You also know that war brings consequences that may be uncontrollable.

In the war that is being threatened against Iraq the consequences have not been well considered. It is predictable, though, that among the consequences will be the undermining of the security of the people of the United States by increasing the terrorism directed at our country and its citizens.

Wars do not bring peace and, as you know, they must never be undertaken without legitimacy, support and a belief in the absolute necessity of sacrificing lives for a transcending purpose.

A war against Iraq lacks legitimacy in the eyes of the world and has failed to get the support of key US allies. Never before in history have so many people raised their voices in protest to a threatened war.

These protests, including those from longtime and staunch US allies, come from all sectors of society and from all parts of the world.

Despite the inducements we have offered and the threats we have made, few of our allies support the US push for war.

The Bush administration has failed to make the case for a war against Iraq, and proceeding to war will drive a terrible wedge through our nation.

Resolution 1441 does not authorize war against Iraq. Should the United States proceed to war against Iraq the United States will be acting illegally, in violation of the United Nations Charter and Article VI(2) of the United States Constitution.

With every report by Chief UN Weapons Inspector Hans Blix of increased cooperation and disarmament by Iraq, the Bush administration has obstinately become more belligerent in its threats of war.

In a war against Iraq there can be no victory nor glory for our military. We will kill and maim the innocent. We will cut short the lives of our youth and theirs. We will have illegally exercised the rule of force over the force of law.

This need not be. But when the government of the most powerful nation in the world dismisses the protests of its own citizens and will not listen to its allies or follow the dictates of international law, few options remain.

You are in a position to influence the course of events. You are respected by the American people and throughout the world as a voice of reason, temperance and experience.

We urge you to follow your conscience and resign your office in protest of this war.

The American people will rally behind you, and an illegal and immoral war can be stopped before it begins.

Please act with the urgency that the current situation demands.

David Krieger President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

False documents used by UK/US governments (Source: Glen Rangwala, CASI discuss list, 7 March 03)

On 7 March, IAEA director-general Mohamed ElBaradei stated the following:

"The IAEA has made progress in its investigation into reports that Iraq sought to buy uranium from Niger in recent years. The investigation was centered on documents provided by a number of States that pointed to an agreement between Niger and Iraq for the sale of uranium between 1999 and 2001.

"Based on thorough analysis, the IAEA has concluded, with the concurrence of outside experts, that these documents - which formed the basis for the reports of recent uranium transactions between Iraq and Niger - are in fact not authentic. We have therefore concluded that these specific allegations are unfounded."

ElBaradei concluded: "There is no indication that Iraq has attempted to import uranium since 1990."

The questions are: who (specifically) provided the false documents to the IAEA? Who produced them? And what indication should the US and UK have that the documents were false?

Background websites:


Biodiversity after Johannesburg

The meeting on Biodiversity after Johannesburg, organized by the Equator Initiative, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), The Nature Conservancy, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), convened from 2-4 March 2003 in London, UK. Participants discussed the links between biodiversity, ecosystem services, sustainable development and the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This was the first of two meetings in London dealing with the linkages between biodiversity and sustainable development. Over 160 participants, representing governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, academia and the private sector discussed these issues in plenary and in working group sessions.

A Summary Report can be found at:  http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/sd/sdund/ 


Little Sister 2003: Community Resistance, Security, Law and Technology

Little Sister 2003 is the first conference of its kind being held in North America. The conference focus is specifically on community resistance and the security and legal needs of autonomous movements. Some of the topics we aim to cover through workshops and panel discussions include: 

Online Registration: https://littlesister2003.org/reg_form.php 


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