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.”

###

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


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.


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

January 4, 2016

30927_10150183416065391_4338679_n

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.


Budget Brinksmanship is Back

December 10, 2015

Government funding runs out tomorrow and the Republican leadership is holding the budget hostage to try to pass poison pill riders on issues from blocking Syrian refugees to stopping the president’s climate change initiatives.

Please ask Congress to pass a clean appropriations bill with no destructive policy riders.

This brinkmanship is a symptom of wider problems with budget politics. October’s temporary budget deal narrowly averted a government shutdown and first-ever US default. But we are not out of the woods of the disastrous austerity politics that have plagued Washington—and the country— since passage of the Budget Control Act (BCA) in 2011.

Republicans are still insisting on adding destructive “riders” that would strike down environmental protections, undermine labor rights, gut consumer protections and the few shreds that still remain of campaign finance reform.

There is still time to tell your Members of Congress you want a budget without “gifts” to powerful interests that will hurt the environment, widen the income gap between the super rich and the rest of us and increase funding for weapons, war and nuclear overkill.

Tell Congress to pass a clean appropriations bill with no poison pills. Peace Action has joined with a coalition of national organizations in a People’s Budget Campaign to push for a budget that funds human needs and cuts Pentagon pork. This budget plan was written by the Congressional Progressive Caucus and provides a realistic alternative to current budget politics which favor runaway military budgets and tax cuts for the rich over the needs of our communities.

Our immediate goal is to pass “clean” appropriations bills without these damaging policy riders in order to avoid the risk of another devastating government shutdown. In the long term we want to build support for a budget that truly invests in the well-being of our communities and cuts unnecessary defense spending.

Tell Congress to stop playing politics with the welfare of the American people!

 

Special thanks to Jon Rainwater and Cole Harrison for their work on this alert


Budget Deal Reached, Pentagon Gives Thanks

November 13, 2015

After years of gridlock and partisan rancor, the budget impasse may finally be broken. The President won increases in ‘non-defense’ spending as part of the deal, but the Pentagon will still gobble up more than 50% of the discretionary budget.  Allowed to increase spending at this pace, the Pentagon can look forward to its first trillion-dollar budget a decade from now.

Peace Action opposes the planned increases in Pentagon spending to $548 billion in fiscal 2016 and $551 billion in fiscal 2017.

The agreement would also increase the Pentagon slush fund, the Overseas Contingency Operations Fund (OCO), which is not subject to the budget caps. The deal would allow about $16 billion more than President Obama requested bringing the total number of tax dollars at the Pentagon’s disposal to over $600 billion for fiscal 2016.

Holding our elected leaders accountable for their rubber stamp approach to war and weapons spending is the first step.  With elections less than a year away, Peace Action is doing just that through our Peace Voter campaign.  Here’s an example of that work, as Will Hopkins, Executive Director of New Hampshire Peace Action asks Hillary Clinton about her “close ties to elements within the military industrial complex” last month on the Today show.

Peace Action continues to work with our allies on Capitol Hill pressing Congress to cut funding for big ticket items like the F-35 and nuclear overkill.  We are investing resources in our grassroots campaign to Move the Money from the Pentagon to meet the needs of our communities, working to build and strengthen local coalitions.  Over the past three years we have conducted workshops in 10 states training local activists in the workings – inside and out – of military budgets. Presently, we are planning trainings in Florida and Oregon for 2016.

More money for high-tech weaponry and unending war means less for our communities and people in need and less invested in green technologies necessary to avert climate disaster.  The federal budget is all about choices.

The federal budget represents our priorities as a nation and it should reflect our values. But powerful ideological forces and financial interests have hijacked the budget process for their own gain.

Martin Luther King Jr challenged us with the admonition, ‘those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.’

The political power required to bring democracy to decisions on federal budget priorities and foreign and military policies is not beyond us.  We are more than capable and we will make it happen.


Don’t Bank On The Bomb

November 12, 2015

Did you know that nuclear weapons are the only weapons of mass destruction not prohibited under international law?  We trace Peace Action’s efforts to delegitimize nuclear weapons to the founding of Peace Action in 1957.  The Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy, as we were known at the time, has been a part of every major initiative to abolish nuclear weapons since then.

In April, Peace Action teamed up with American Friends Service Committee and the Western States Legal Foundation and a number of our national and international partners to organize the Peace and Planet mobilization during the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the United Nations in New York.
In addition to addressing nuclear disarmament issues, the Peace and Planet conference, and subsequent rally and march, also made connections to issues of climate change, civil rights and economic and social justice.

Don’t Bank on the Bomb is an international campaign to push financial institutions to divest from nuclear weapons.  Thus far, 53 financial institutions have joined the campaign, led by the Dutch group, PAX.  Peace Action has endorsed Don’t Bank On The Bomb and while it has received little attention in the U.S. that will change as more groups get involved in pressing financial institutions here to divest.

For more information: http://www.dontbankonthebomb.com/frequently-asked-questions/


Nuclear Disarmament Program in DC Sunday Nov. 8

November 2, 2015

2015-04-30-1430407393-1949217-6[1]

All Souls Church, a Unitarian church in Northwest Washington that has long promoted peace and social justice action in the Adams Morgan/Mount Pleasant/Columbia Heights community and in the world, is especially concerned with nuclear weapons abolition, and has developed strong relationships with Japanese peace groups. Next Sunday, the Church will host 27 members of Rissho Kosei-kai (RKK), a worldwide Buddhist organization, visiting from Japan, for a public forum on nuclear disarmament.

Heiwa Peace Program: Peacemaking, Nuclear Non-Proliferation, and Disarmament
All Souls Church Unitarian 1500 Harvard Street NW @ 16th Washington DC 20009
Sunday, November 8, 1:30 – 3:45 P.M.

Speakers will include members of RKK including Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors), American University Professor Peter Kuznick, Bruce Knotts, Director, Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office and yours truly. For more information, please see All Souls Church

Peacefully Yours,

Kevin Martin
Executive Director
Peace Action


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 16,769 other followers

%d bloggers like this: