25th Anniversary of the first U.S. vs. Iraq War

January 21, 2016

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Last weekend marked 25 years since the first U.S. vs. Iraq War, often called the Persian Gulf War. Executive Director Kevin Martin, along with our colleague Jennifer Bing of the American Friends Service Committee, wrote an op-ed published on AlterNet and did a radio interview yesterday on WBEZ Chicago public radio,


“Those of us who love peace…

January 18, 2016

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…must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.” MLK, Jr.


Peace Action Applauds Iran Agreement Success; Urges Similar Diplomatic Efforts with Syria and North Korea

January 16, 2016

Peace Action Applauds Iran Agreement Success; Urges Similar Diplomatic Efforts with Syria and North Korea

Washington, DC — January 16, 2016 — In response to today’s announcement that all parties (The United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France, plus Germany — the P5 + 1), including Iran, have implemented their responsibilities under the agreement reached last July 14 that has significantly rolled back Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting international sanctions against the country, Paul Kawika Martin the policy and political director of Peace Action (the largest peace group in the U.S. founded on abolishing nuclear weapons) who has been working on the Iran issue for over eight years and had the rare opportunity to spend time in Iran and enjoyed hospitality from its people and its vast culture, made the following statement:

“Successful diplomacy has moved Iran from a possible timeline of a few months to over a year away from having the fissile material needed to make a crude nuclear weapon if it so chose.  This historic agreement, now implemented, makes the U.S. and the world a safer place.

“The implementation of the agreement proves that diplomacy works.  Instead of isolation, sanctions that don’t affect leaders or military intervention that costs vast amounts of blood and treasure and untold long-term costs and unintended consequences, the U.S. used dialogue, negotiations and the international community to solve conflict.

“The U.S. should continue to use diplomacy with Iran to tackle issues like human rights and regional security that will further reduce Middle East tensions.

“Additionally, we should take lessons learned and continue diplomacy to bring about a cease-fire within Syria and finalize a political solution to end its civil war.

“In particular, the U.S should heed its success of negotiating with Iran without preconditions to re-enter into six-party talks with North Korea and drop its demand of preconditions for continued dialogue.

“Lastly, this success shows that excessive Pentagon spending needs to be replaced with more diplomatic tools to solve international conflicts without the horrendous costs of military intervention.”

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Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to the conflicts with Afghanistan and Iran. The public may learn more and take action at http://www.Peace- Action.org. For more up-to-date peace insider information, follow Peace Action’s political director on Twitter. http://twitter.com/PaulKawika


Friday Reading Recommendations

January 15, 2016

Geneseo chapter

A few succinct, powerful articles for you from friends of Peace Action:

Code Pink founder and Peace Action Advisory Board member Medea Benjamin on 10 good things about 2015

Korea Peace Network co-founder and Peace Action Advisory Board member Christine Ahn on bringing peace and reconciliation to Korea in the wake of the North Korean nuclear test

The always spot-on Walden Bello on Trump, the ultimate blowback of US foreign policy

Longtime Peace Action supporter Jeff Smith: Where are the peace candidates? (and it’s not just about politics)

The first three articles are from the terrific web publication Foreign Policy in Focus, please consider subscribing to this free weekly journal, it’s chock full of news and views you can use each week!


Action Alert: The Other Existential Threat

January 14, 2016
Return of the Asparagus Missile! (from our Japanese colleague organization Gensuikin)

Return of the Asparagus Missile! (from our Japanese colleague organization Gensuikin)

It appears President Obama forgot something.  In his State of the Union message last night he touched on the need to confront one of the great existential dangers of our time – climate change – but failed to even mention the other – the ever present threat of nuclear annihilation.

Considering his past writings and speeches, President Obama has stated his concern about the multiple threats posed by nuclear weapons and he promised in his 2009 Prague speech to do something about it.

ACTION
Ask President Obama in his final year as President, to turn the words of his 2009 Prague speech into action.  Urge him cancel plans to spend hundreds of billions to modernize our nuclear arsenal.  Canceling this nuclear weapons forever program would reduce the danger of nuclear proliferation and the likelihood of nuclear war –either accidential or intentional – with all its corresponding menace, radioactive contamination, nuclear winter, widespread devastation, starvation, and suffering.

Plans to modernize the US nuclear arsenal will likely cost upward of a trillion dollars, assuming future presidents follow through with the new bombers, submarines and land-based missiles, along with planned upgrades of eight factories and laboratories.

This danger is real. Plans for a new cruise missile, for example, at a cost of $30 billion, comes in nuclear and non-nuclear varieties, meaning a nation under attack won’t know what kind of warhead the missile is carrying which might lead to a nuclear response to a non-nuclear attack.

I could spend all day writing about these costly, crazy plans and the danger they represent, but I need you instead to write President Obama right now, and tell him to fulfill his Prague promise and lead the world to a nuclear free future.  After you’re done you can google the term ‘accidental nuclear war’ and see for yourself.

Let this be the year the US cancels its nuclear weapons forever program.

 

Peacefully yours,

Kevin Martin
Executive Director
Peace Action

P.S. –   If you prefer, you can contact the White House comment line at 202 456-1111 (9:00 am to 5:00 pm eastern time) or write President Obama at The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500. You could even fax him at 202 456-2461.  Thank you taking action.


Statement on North Korea’s nuclear weapons test

January 6, 2016

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From Christine Ahn, Peace Action Advisory Board member and a lead organizer of last year’s women’s peace delegation to North and South Korea:

“It’s a very very unfortunate turn of events that North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb, but an even greater reason for the United States to end its futile policy of “strategic patience” (i.e. waiting for the North Korean regime to collapse) and engage. We need the peace movement that mobilized for the Iran deal to press for a peace treaty with North Korea, which Pyongyang has recently appealed for and was a promise made 63 years ago when Washington signed the armistice agreement with China and North Korea temporarily halting the war. It’s what the South Korean peace movements have been calling for, and we need the U.S. Public to become aware of this history.”

One important note on this event is there is substantial skepticism the test was a hydrogen/thermonuclear bomb, it might have been an atomic/fission bomb boosted with tritium.


Tens of thousands of U.S. casualties from our country’s nuclear weapons program

January 4, 2016

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National Peace Action board member Larry Wittner has a new column on History News Network commenting on the staggering death toll, of tens of thousands of people in this country, from U.S. nuclear weapons production and testing. Please read, re-post, share and circulate this article, with a link to a recent video and article by McClatchy News, which undertook an investigative study of this awful consequence of our country’s obsession with nuclear weapons.


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