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.


Join the Thunderclap for Peace and Planet

December 10, 2015

Peace Action is encouraging its online activist network to join in on a Thunderclap, Disarm For Our Planet, calling for a reallocation of 10% in world military expenditures and directing the money towards efforts to counter the serious threat of rapidly accelerating climate change

The call was issued by the International Peace Bureau (IPB) of which Peace Action is a member. You may remember IPB is the coalition that leads the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) each year around Tax Day. Peace Action was North American coordinator of the GDAMS in two of the past 3 years. This from IPB’s call to action:

What is Thunderclap?

Thunderclap is a crowdspeaking platform which allows individuals and organizations to spread a message across the Internet via social media. It works almost the same way as crowdfunding, but in this case, if we do not manage to get our desired number of supporters – – a hundred – – the message isn’’t published.

How you can help

The campaign ends on December 13, meaning we only have a few days left and need your help if we want it to succeed. In order to do so, you can start by supporting it on Thunderclap by using this link and choosing one of the three options available: support via Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.

For increased visibility, we will also be very active on social media during the following week. If you have not already, we strongly invite you to follow us on both Twitter and Facebook, and help us by posting/tweeting using the hashtag #DisarmForOurPlanet and liking/sharing/retweeting our posts. For the last couple of weeks, we have been pushing out the IPB message every day with some interesting infographics, so feel free to take a look at them as well!  You can find our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ipb1910b, our Twitter at https://twitter.com/IntlPeaceBureau and our Instagram @IntlPeaceBureau.

Again, your support is very much needed and appreciated, so thank you in advance!
Best wishes.

Special thanks to Sarah El Gharib and Sarah Lucek, social media and web coordinators for the International Peace Bureau.


Is ISIL ‘Banking’ On Inaction?

December 10, 2015

Over a year ago, just as the US bombing campaign on the so-called Islamic State was beginning, Peace Action issued a call for measures we believed then, and still believe, are more effective than endless war.  These alternatives included:

  • Tighten loopholes in existing sanctions to help cut off ISIL’s funding streams:
  • Cut off U.S. government contracts with anyone doing business with ISIL
  • Restrict ISIL’s access to the international financial system

Peace Action has a long record of putting forward postive, practical alternatives to military force.  It is a great disapointment that it’s taken the US over a year to ‘get with the program’.

Presently, the United States and Russia are working on a Security Council resolution at the United Nations that will, at long last, move to cut off revenues to ISIL.

On December 17th finance ministers from the 15 members of the Security Council are expected at a special meeting at the UN to coordinate intelligence and financial measures to cut ISIL’s revenue stream and put pressure on countries to do more to identify and stop wealthy individuals suspected of donating money to the terrorists.

It’s a start but it hardly goes far enough.  More aggressive efforts are needed to prosecute individuals and sanction nations that support ISIL.  That’s because donor nations, and wealthy individuals, already known to be supporting ISIL are our so-called allies, including many from the Persian Gulf.  That’s a big reason why there is little emphasis on concrete penalties and sanctions needed to effectively disrupt ISIL’s financing.

Send a message to President Obama.  Take effective action in support of tougher a UN resolution that cuts ISIL’s access to money, recruits and weapons.   Call the White House comment line at 202-456-1414 or email the President at whitehouse.gov.

 


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


Making Connections

December 10, 2015

It’s been a tough year for our planet.  As it draws to a close, let me make my case for your continued financial support.

Peace Actions’s community-based, frontline organizers provide issue briefings to congressional candidates and meet often with elected representatives and their staff. They also meet with local editorial boards to educate opinion leaders on both the alternatives to the endless war on terror, and the urgent need to address other, real threats to our planet; accelerating climate disaster, nuclear weapons, poverty and disease and the continuous assault on civil rights.

Peace Action’s strategy of coalition building has broadened the peace movement. We work cooperatively and effectively with a large peace and disarmament community nationwide and make the connections between energy policy and resource war, war and the destruction of the global environment and militarism and the cost to our economic well being, in the process, bringing new voices to peace work.

Peace Action works with an international peace movement, and has for decades, building alliances, coordinating message and actions, and pushing the U.S. and its allies to embrace the adage, “there is no way to peace, peace is the way.”

Together, our organization, members like you, our chapters and associates, staff and volunteers are working to advance a vision of the future where the human race is no longer preparing to do battle over what is left of the world’s resources. It’s a vision of the future I think we all share, when diplomacy, partnership and multi-lateral cooperation become the foundation of a collective security that will allow us to work together to meet the urgent global human needs that challenge all of us.

As you consider your year-end giving options, please choose to support the work of Peace Action and Peace Action Education Fund.

Thank you for all your support for Peace Action’s work. On behalf of our staff and Board of Directors, let me wish the very best to you and those you love.


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