"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." — Elie Wiesel

Saturday, March 16, 2013

End the Nuclear Lobby

Editor's Note: I'm sharing this piece by Peter Cohen as it speaks directly and succinctly to a central issue in the struggle against nuclear weapons and war-making.  Cohen is right on the "money!"  It is critical that we find every possible way to counter the power of BIG $$$$$$$$$$$$$$. 

Peter's article was origninally published in counterpunch (http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/01/30/end-the-nuclear-lobby/).


JANUARY 30, 2013

We Must Stop Investing in Our Extinction!

End the Nuclear Lobby

For decades the peace movement has been satisfied with scraps from the table of nuclear weapons and their beneficiaries. Even the New START Treaty was offset by the Obama administration promise to spend $185 billion in this decade on modernization of nuclear weapons and delivery systems.
The vulnerable point in the complex of nuclear weapons corporations, their lobbies, their campaign recipients in Congress and the resulting ongoing budget for these weapons and facilities, is the delivery of corporate money by lobbyists to the key members of Congress.  
“In the 2012 election cycle, the top 14 nuclear weapons contractors gave a total of $2.9 million to key members of Congress with decision making power over nuclear weapons spending. These firms have donated $18.7 million to these same members of Congress over the course of their careers.” –Bombs Versus Budgets: Inside the Nuclear Weapons Lobby, By Hartung and Anderson at the Center for International Policy, June 6, 2012, –( a MUST read!)
There is ample evidence that nuclear weapons are useless in our national defense, that they and their delivery systems are extremely expensive and that their possession and modernization by the United States prevents any progress toward abolition by the other nuclear powers. Above all, we now know that any use, accident, or hacking of these weapons, anywhere, endangers the people of the world and all complex forms of Life on Earth.
Therefore, when we protest nuclear weapons we are defending the future of Life on Earth. And when corporations bribe our Representatives to preserve their contracts and profits, regardless of actual need, they risk the future of that life.
We must interfere with this lobbying (bribing) process. We must stand in the way. The children of the world demand that they not live under this “sword of Damocles” for the profits of the nuclear corporations, such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Boeing. The current situation of nuclear weapons is sick and beyond the moral compass of all religions. 
It is urgent that the peace movement bring this truth to the attention of the American people. The methods of the last decades have been insufficient. The harsh reality of thousands of weapons on quick response demands a new approach. we must go beyond past experience, to learn from the methods of others who have had long, hard battles to change our society. Symbolically or actually, we must stand between the K Street lobbyists with their campaign contributions and the leaders of these House Committees. The public must be aroused to the insanity of our ongoing weapons and delivery systems preparations.
We must act now to preserve the wonder of Life on Earth. There is no nobler cause or greater meaning for our lives. We must venture forth with greater energy, imagination and determination to stop the insanity of investing in our extinction.
Peter G. Cohen, Santa Barbara, CA, is the author of www.nukefreeworld.com and other internet writing.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Nuclear Weapons Threaten Life and Waste Resources

Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) just aired it's newest TV interview show, "Nuclear Weapons Threaten Life and Waste Resources."   Olympia FOR's Glen Anderson interviewed two members of Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action (Ground Zero).

Ground Zero is located next to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, the home port of the West coast Trident submarine fleet and the Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific. Bangor represents the largest operational concentration of nuclear weapons in the U.S. and quite probably the entire world.

Ground Zero offers the opportunity to explore the meaning and practice of nonviolence from a perspective of deep spiritual reflection, providing a means for witnessing to and resisting all nuclear weapons.

Tom Rogers is a retired U.S. Navy captain and former submarine commander.  Leonard Eiger is a retired public health professional and coordinates communications for Ground Zero.

In this show we focus on the Trident nuclear submarines based at Bangor in Kitsap County, just 60 miles north of Olympia and 20 miles west of Seattle. Tridents out on patrol are on constant alert status and poised for a suicidal first strike against Russia or other target.  Trident is a Cold War relic.

A single Trident submarine has enough nuclear warheads to destroy an entire continent. As Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo, commander, Submarine Group 10, at Kings Bay, Georgia once said, "A single Trident submarine is the sixth largest nuclear nation in the world all by itself."

So it’s worth spending an hour watching this program! Click the image below to watch Nuclear Weapons Threaten Life and Waste Resources.