• End Funding of "Defense" Research That Ignores Climate Change
    The United States has hundreds of programs at universities, think tanks, and research institutes that claim to devote their attention to “security” and “defense” studies. Yet in almost all of these programs that receive many millions of dollars in Federal funding, the vast majority of research, advocacy and instruction have nothing to do with climate change, the most serious threat to security of our age. In an act of profound intellectual irresponsibility, so-called scholars of "security studies" spend their hours imagining fantastic military scenarios, rather than responding to incontrovertible threat of climate change which scientists have unanimously identified as a reality. We cannot waste any more of our tax dollars on security and defense studies that fail to address the primary threat to the well-being of the United States, and of the world. The time has come to put an end to this insanity. We demand that all programs of defense and security studies in the United States identify in their statement of purpose climate change as the primary security threat to the United States and that they dedicate at least 70% of their budgets to research, teaching and advocacy to the critical topics of mitigation of (primarily) and adaptation to (secondarily) climate change. Any program that fails to focus on climate change in this manner should lose its status for Federal funding. Mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change should be the primary concerns for all in security and defense field studies. Obviously other security issues deserve study, but granted the fact that the cost of climate change will run in the trillions of dollars over the next decade, and even more beyond then, we do not have the funds to support programs that are not dedicated to addressing this immediate threat. Signers include: Emanuel Yi Pastreich Director The Asia Institute David Swanson Director World Beyond War John Kiriakou Associate fellow Institute for Policy Studies John Feffer Director Foreign Policy in Focus Norman Solomon Cofounder RootsAction.org Coleen Rowley Retired FBI agent and former Minneapolis Division legal counsel
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  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, keep Speaking Truth to Power
    Since 1979, the US interventionist foreign policy has created civil wars or failed states all over the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe -- the so-called "arc of instability" that the US has itself created. Most obviously, we have seen sectarian killing in Iraq, a failed state in Libya dominated by ISIS, and now an ISIS terrorist state in Syria and Iraq. These interventions do not serve the interests of the American people. In fact, they have violated American ideals of human rights, self determination, the rule of law and, in most cases, democracy. They have also resulted in blowback from people seeking revenge and indoctrinated with the extreme Islamism of our purported allies. They serve only the interests of arms manufacturers, military contractors and the minority of US military, CIA and State Department personnel who are motivated by personal aggrandizement rather than true patriotism. Rep. Gabbard is a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq and a member of the House Armed Services committee. She has spoken out against these policies, for example in interviews with Wolf Blitzer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7Q8X60KQ9Q) and Scott Simon (http://www.npr.org/2015/12/12/459464247/are-efforts-to-overthrow-assad-counter-productive), and in the halls of Congress itself. Rep. Gabbard, please keep doing what you are doing. Know that Americans who are paying attention appreciate all that you do and that we "have your back." Please share this with others of both parties who are speaking out against these bipartisan neocon/liberal interventionist policies.
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  • Resume reporting on weapons sales
    Since 2011, the United States has sold a great deal of weapons. But the U.S. government has stopped reporting on its own and other nations' arms sales. CRS has its own internal government sources of information. The report it used to produce is not duplicated by any other publication. The United States is no longer documenting one of its biggest and most deadly businesses. In 2012, Richard Grimmett retired from the Congressional Research Service. He had been the chief author of its reports on international weapons sales and transfers. It is thanks to those reports that we know, with some reliability, that as of 2011 the United States accounted for 79% of the value of transfer agreements to ship weapons to governments in the Middle East, 79% also to poor nations around the world, and 77% of the value of total agreements to ship weapons to other countries. We can compare these numbers with earlier years, but not with later ones. Even if Congress doesn't want to know, it should not get away with denying us that right. Background: CRS Report for Congress, Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress, Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2004-2011 http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/R42678.pdf
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  • Portland No More Guantanamos
    There are 52 detainees at Guantanamo Bay who have never been charged with any crime and have been cleared by all levels of government for transfer, meaning they have been found to pose no security threat to the U.S. or the world. Most of these detainees were cleared for transfer in 2009 but have remained at the facility because of complications with returning them to their home countries. Their continued and indefinite detention is a violation of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and human rights treaties to which the United States is a party. The U.S. Congress refuses to accept these cleared detainees onto our own soil because the American people have been misinformed on the subject and continue to believe that all detainees at the facility represent “the worst of the worst.” The Obama Administration, which is working to close the facility, is sending ambassadors around the world asking for sanctuary for these detainees in other countries. We as a country need to step up and take responsibility for our own mistakes; if these detainees are no security risk, as the government asserts, we should be ready to accept them on our own soil. Progressive, informed U.S. cities must take the lead on this, if the U.S. Congress will not. If this resolution passes, it will be a victory for human rights law and will send a message to our own community that we do not subscribe to Islamophobic fears based on ignorance and misinformation. It will promote a more inclusive city that is welcoming to people of all backgrounds, regardless of religion or ethnicity. Other cities have already passed such resolutions: ◦ Berkeley, CA resolution: http://www.nogitmos.org/berkeleytresolutionclosingguantanamo ◦ Amherst, MA resolution: http://www.nogitmos.org/proclamationunitednationsinternationaldaysupportvictimstorture ◦ Leverett, MA resolution: http://www.nogitmos.org/resolutiontownleverettmaassistsaferesettlementclearedguant%C3%A1namodetainees
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  • Clean up Unexploded Bombs in Laos
    The USA has been EXTRAORDINARILY NEGLIGENT in dealing with the problems it caused by dropping 240 million bombs on Laos without even declaring war. (The last time the USA declared war was in 1941.) The donations the USA makes to the clean up effort are miniscule. Pathetic is a word that comes to mind. You need to have a head honcho, office space in Vientiane and a few secretaries and that eats up most of the funds so there is precious little left over for actual cleaning up of the 80 million unexploded bombs. I would like to set up a bomb clearing project in Laos using HeroRats as used by apopo.org in Mozambique and now Cambodia to sniff out unexploded ordnance.
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  • No update to the US Nuclear Capability
    We need to be deactivating our nuclear capability not upgrading it.
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  • No U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe
    The United States keeps nuclear weapons in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Turkey, in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which bans the transfer of nuclear weapons from a nuclear weapon state to a non-nuclear weapon state. Now, the U.S. wants to upgrade its nukes in Europe, to make them "precision" and "guided," and therefore more likely to be used, even as tensions build between the United States and Russia. The U.S. plans to deploy newly designed type B 61-12 nuclear bombs. Instead it should remove existing nuclear bombs. The NATO strategy of so-called "nuclear sharing" is a violation of Articles 1 and 2 of the NPT. Those provisions state that every party to the treaty promises "not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly" and also promises that every "non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons." The policy of placing U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe also violates local laws. For example, the German Parliament (the Bundestag) voted in March 2010, by a large majority, that the German Government should "press for the withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons from Germany."
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  • Ultimate Control of All Satellites to the United Nations
    A 2014 Gallup International survey found that, by a wide margin, people believe that the United States is the biggest threat to wold peace. It's hard to believe that these people want the US controlling their skies. A 1967 international agreement signed by all the major powers banned weapons from earth orbit. Several major powers (including the USA) have violated that ban. When one space faring nation explodes a competitor's satellite, each of thousands of high velocity pieces can destroy other "innocent" satellites for decades. Our planet must avoid an arms race in space.
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  • Open Letter to Ban-Ki Moon on Upcoming 70th Anniversary of U.N. Charter
    World Beyond War has outlined specific reforms that would democratize the United Nations, and make nonviolent actions the primary activity engaged in. Please read them here. http://worldbeyondwar.org/reforming-united-nations INITIAL SIGNERS: David Swanson Coleen Rowley David Hartsough Patrick Hiller Alice Slater Kevin Zeese Heinrich Buecker Norman Solomon Sandra Osei Twumasi Jeff Cohen Leah Bolger Robert Scheer
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  • Ask the U.S. Institute of Peace to Work for Peace
    The U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) is a federal government institute created by a bill signed into law in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan and funded annually by Congress as well as sometimes receiving funding from the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the military.[1] The law states that the "Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and the Director of Central Intelligence each may assign officers and employees of his respective department or agency, on a rotating basis to be determined by the Board, to the Institute." The Institute has never opposed a U.S. war and claims that it can only support things, not oppose them. But in fact, the law only forbids it from seeking "to influence the passage or defeat of legislation ... except that the personnel of the Institute may testify or make other appropriate communication when formally requested to do so by a legislative body, a committee, or a member thereof." Most U.S. wars, including the war on Libya, the newly revived war on Iraq (and Syria), and the drone wars on Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, have been launched without legislation. And, even if there were legislation involved, it would not be at all difficult for USIP to ask a single member of Congress to request its opinion, thereby freeing it to provide its views and its research. USIP makes no claim that it cannot provide the public with information on the negative results of U.S. wars; it simply fails to do so. The Institute in fact makes recommendations to Congress, including in formally presented testimony, it just recommends things like supporting the Syrian opposition, training and arming troops to fight both ISIS and the Syrian government, and creating a "no fly zone" in Syria, rather than working toward an arms embargo or aid or diplomacy.[2] The Institute has recommended diplomacy with Iran, and could do so in a dozen other cases, although its notion that weapons sales is part of diplomacy may be less than helpful.[3] The law requires that the USIP Board include 15 voting members, including the Secretaries of State and "Defense," the President of the National "Defense" University, and 12 members appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and each having "practical or academic experience in peace and conflict resolution." The law also states that "No member of the Board may participate in any decision, action, or recommendation with respect to any matter which directly and financially benefits the member or pertains specifically to any public body or any private or nonprofit firm or organization with which the member is then formally associated or has been formally associated within a period of two years." There are a number of mechanisms for removing a board member, including 8 or more board members making that recommendation to the President. The USIP does do some work aimed at peace, including hosting speakers and producing publications aimed at peace, sending skilled mediators into conflict zones, making research grants, holding essay contests, and conducting conflict-resolution trainings, but such efforts are deeply compromised by the following concerns: USIP board member and chairman, Stephen Hadley, urges the bombing of Syria and the militarization of Ukraine, while encouraging European nations to double their military spending, and himself profiting from war as a board member of Raytheon.[4] USIP board member Eric Edelman, a former undersecretary at the Pentagon, promotes higher military spending, an attack on Iran, and deployment of nuclear weapons to nations on Russia's border.[5] USIP board member Major General Frederick M. Padilla, USMC, is career military. USIP promotes the overthrow of the Syrian government.[6] USIP is not known to have ever opposed a U.S. war, U.S. weapons exports, U.S. foreign bases, or U.S. military spending.[7] USIP promotes trade embargoes, economic austerity programs, and electoral interventions as tools of aggression, not peace building.[8] USIP funds many more supporters than opponents of militarism.[9] USIP hosts pro-war talks by leading war advocates.[10] Appropriate board members for USIP exist in large numbers, and many of them would no doubt be happy to serve. Here are a few examples of the many possible names: Kathy Kelly, Michael McPhearson, Ann Wright, Paul Chappell, Noura Erekat, Dennis Kucinich, David Vine, Matt Daloisio, John Dear, Bruce Gagnon, Phil Donahue, Mel Duncan, David Hartsough, Mubarak Awad, Leslie Cagan, Roy Bourgeois, Cornell West, Lennox Yearwood, Osagyefo Sekou, Phyllis Bennis, Andy Shallal, Helena Cobban, Noam Chomsky, Elliott Adams.
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  • Ban Flamethrowers
    They are dangerous to people, animals, plants and the planet. "Flamethrowers, given up by the military, are now being sold to the public" http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/13/smallbusiness/flamethrowers-public-sale/index.html
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  • Letter to Pope Francis
    Some endorsers: Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, Archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan Rev Kristin Stoneking, Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Nyack, NY Deacon Tom Cornell, Catholic Worker Farm, Marlboro, NY Johnny Zokovitch, FL David Swanson Sister Rose Marie Cummins Sr. Miriam MacGillis, OP, Genesis Farm Dr. Paul E. Ivory Debbie & Bill Quigley, New Orleans, LA Herbert Bix, Cambridge, MA Kathy Kelly, Chicago, IL Fr. Tim Taugher, St Francis of Assisi, Binghamton, NY Terri MacKenzie, SHCJ Deacon Jim Rauner, Diocese of Kalamazoo, Watervliet, MI Jane F. Morissey, ssj, Massachusetts Rev Robert E. Osborne, Louisville, KY Sister Kathleen Desautels, SP, Chicago, IL Elliott Adams Fr. Regis Ryan, Dio. of Pittsburgh Fr. Tony Gallagher, Toledo, OH Sally Bostwick, ret. USN Commander Karl Meyer, Greenlands Catholic Worker, Nashville, TN William H. Privett, NY Victoria B. Ross, Western NY Peace Center, Buffalo, NY Ardeth Platte, OP, Jonah House Carol Gilbert, OP, Jonah House Jack Gilroy, NY Elizabeth McAlister, Jonah House, Baltimore, MD Pat Ferrone, Pax Christi Massachusetts Pat McSweeney, Massachusetts Pax Christi Greensburg, PA Robert M. Smith Brandywine Peace Community, Philadelphia, PA Neil Himber, Youngsville, Pennsylvania Nick Mottern, New York Molly Rush, Thomas Merton Center, Pittsburgh, PA Sister Rosemary McSorley, shcj Anne Symens-Bucher, Canticle Farm, Oakland, CA Wally Inglis, Honolulu, HI R. Barry Martin, Good Shepherd & McCauley House, Philadelphia, PA Victor Hummert, Indiana Mary Aileen/ Purdy Dame, Medford, MA Nancy O'Byrne, Pax Christi Florida Ray Mack Faye Hinze, Bay Area, CA Mike Wisniewski, Los Angeles Catholic Worker, CA Raquel Falk, St . Peter Claver Catholic Worker, South Bend, IN Fr. Jim Hogan, Dio. of Helena, MT Stephen Kobasa Michael Ifrate, Wheeling, WV Nancy Wallace Fr. Jim Murphy, Dio. of Madison, Highland, WI JoAnne Lingle Rev Louis Arseneaux, C.M., Pax Christi New Orleans Mary Ann Buckley Carolyn McDonnell, Mercy Associates, IL Patricia Donohue Roy Bourgeois, Founder SOAW, Columbus, GA Paula Ewers Fr. Donald Fisher, McKees Rocks, PA Libby Pappalardo Frances Rossi William Houston, Jr Mary Elizabeth Crane John Amidon, Albany, NY Jeanne Allen Eve Tetaz Maureen Hearn Henri A. Fourroux, III Karen McLoughlin Malachy Kilbride, Quaker Ben Gordon, Pax Christi, New Orleans (a partial listing)
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