Friday, November 28, 2008
Our foreign policy needs CHANGE, not the same old tired cliches.
It is time to examine the root causes of terror, look at the festering sores around the world that make it so easy to recruit terrorists for the agendas of the extreme few.
Pakistan and India must resolve their issues, Israel and Palestine must resolve their issues, the Shiites and Sunnis must come to a modus vivendi, the Philippine government must work out a proper settlement with their Moslem population, the governments of Somalia, Uganda, The Congo must be helped to resolve their conflicts and stop genocies.
The United States needs to take a leadership position for peace, not constant war.
All the bombs and guns in the world will never stop terror. More troops in Afghanistan will only inflame the situation unless they are there to bring stability not bomb more civilians, not endlessly hunt in the caves of the Khyber Pass for bin Ladin. We are wasting time and resources and inflaming more terror.
Our current policies have been al Qaeda's best recruiting tools.
It is time for the US to seek creative and intelligent ways to resolve these festering human tragedies.
It is time for a new approach.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
On November 2, twelve committed agents of peace met to set the priorities for 2009. We would love to do everything (and will probably try in spite of our well-intentioned priority setting), but want to make sure we put most of our time, effort, and resources into what is most important to us.
First, we formally adopted a mission statement, which you will find at the top of this page. Then we got down to specifics.
This year's most pressing issues are:
- The economy
- The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan
- U.S. actions in the Americas
- Climate change / the environment / justice issues
- Palestine and Israel
And this year's program priorities are:
- Film and speaker series with two major topics: (1) understanding economic systems and their implications for social justice; (2) understanding the other countries in the Americas, their political systems, and the actions our government has taken since the Monroe Doctrine to influence, control, or even destabilize them.
- Three Cups of Tea: beginning with a community read of the book, co-sponsored by the Charlevoix Public LIbrary, this multi-year umbrella project will involve several communities, the schools, churches, and other organizations.
- 350 Event: to increase the awareness in our community of the number 350 (see www.350.org) and its significance, we will plan a community-wide fun event.
- LTLPF reading list / lending library: we're going to develop a reading list for people interested in the topics that concern our group, and post it on this site. We will also make printed copies available.
- Sixth anniversary event: we'll recognize the sixth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq on March 21. Details TBD.
- Mothers Day event: we are not sure what we're doing exactly -- the same thing we've done in years past, a luncheon or dinner honoring mothers of servicemen and servicewomen, or both?
We will also be working on some other items such as this blog, the Peace Digest (or maybe an online version of it?), an informational brochure, and membership outreach.
Please share your thoughts - let us know what you would like to do, what you would like us to do, and how you think the group can best accomplish its mission.
Some people are not waiting to see what Obama will do as president before acting. In South Korea activists are now meeting and publicly calling on president-elect Obama to end the dangerous and costly U.S.-South Korea (ROK) military alliance that is contributing to major tensions in the region.
The U.S. is currently doubling its military presence in the Asian-Pacific region. New and expanded Pentagon bases are going into Guam, Australia, Japan, and South Korea. "Missile defense" is being peddled to Australia, Japan, and South Korea which is forcing China, who today only has 20 nuclear missiles capable of hitting the west coast of the U.S., to produce more for fear that a U.S. "first-strike" could knock out their nuclear capability. In fact the U.S. Space Command has been war gaming such a first-strike attack on China for the past several years!
If Obama wants to reduce global tensions he should begin negotiating a de-escalation of militarism in the Asian-Pacific region. If Obama wants money for health care, education, energy policy, and new jobs at home then he must stop expanding U.S. military bases in that region and throughout the world.
Activists from Solidarity for Peace & Reunification of Korea (SPARK) in South Korea have it right. Make demands on Obama now, before he sets his foreign and military policy in stone.
We in the U.S. have much to learn from our friends in South Korea.
The Global Network has been invited to hold its 2009 space organizing conference in South Korea on April 16-18.
Several key peace groups in South Korea will host the conference and we hope we can all celebrate the cancellation of the U.S.-ROK military alliance. We hope to raise our glasses to toast a new U.S.-ROK and U.S.-Asian Peace Alliance in place of the antiquated war making venture that now dominates our nations agenda.
Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011