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Sign the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on Depleted UraniumI served in the Parachute Regiment and the Special Air Service for eight years. I have spoken out about the reality of the war in Iraq on numerous occasions since I left the army but only recently have I learned about another of its cruel legacies; chemically toxic and radioactive depleted uranium (DU). I was not surprised last week when I heard the UK and US had voted against a United Nations General Assembly Resolution that asked states to provide help to Iraq in dealing with DU contamination and for UN agencies to carry out more research into its potential negative effects on public health and the environment. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has long argued that DU weapons are effective and necessary to save soldiers’ lives, but they refuse to take into account the effect on civilian populations that especially as they can continue long after a war has ended. When it is fired it creates a DU dust which, if breathed in, has the potential to mutate DNA and cause cancers and birth defects. In Iraq, the battles took place in towns and cities full of people. The Iraqi government knows of 300 contaminated sites today – hundreds more are unidentified. This contamination poses a threat to the Iraqi people, particularly pregnant women and children who are especially susceptible to exposure from toxic materials. The MoD claims that there is no evidence that DU has caused health problems in Iraq. However, there is no evidence because there have been no health studies carried out specifically on civilians living in contaminated areas. Last year, the former director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Iraq programme, Dr Neel Mani, said that the organisation knew of abnormal rates of health problems as far back as 2001. However, cynicism from ‘certain member states’ and a politicised funding structure had left them unable to do anything about it. He is not the first person to speak out but the denial and the political power of the offending states means that this public health crisis continues. Within Iraq, many people continue to speak out about this. The International Committee of the Red Cross have reports of being approached by tribal leaders who say that clean-up of DU ‘exceeded any other humanitarian concerns’. As the father to three beautiful, healthy children I found it so distressing when I heard Dr Samira Alaani, an Iraqi paediatrician report: ‘The first question I am asked when a child is born is not ‘is it a boy or a girl?’ but ‘is my child healthy?’ It makes me so angry that, for all of our promises of freeing Iraq, what we have left them is a toxic legacy that will last for generations to come. As a former soldier who fought in Iraq, I can safely say that this is not why I joined the British Army. Nor do I believe that many other soldiers are happy with the fact that they are being made complicit with these acts. Doctors across Iraq have been reporting much higher than normal incidences of cancer and birth defects for years now. It has been estimated that cleaning up the 300 known contamination sites would cost between US$30-45 million. To people like me and you that is a lot of money but to governments that have spent billions on war, it is a drop in the ocean. If they cannot afford to clean it up, they should not have made us use it in the first place. In December the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will take a second vote on a draft resolution on DU weapons. It will be the fifth one of its kind and will no doubt, once more, see a majority of the states vote in favour of it – 155 did last time. The UNGA draft resolution asks states that have fired DU to provide firing locations. It asks international organisations to carry out further research. It asks any states with the means to do so to provide assistance to countries affected by DU. It is not a lot to ask, so why do the UK and US persistently vote against these resolutions? Just last month the Iraqi government joined the doctors and people of Iraq in asking for help to clean up this mess and to conduct research into the problems their country is facing. They know they cannot do it alone; this will take an international effort and it needs to be done sooner rather than later. We must support the people of Iraq, which is why I am demanding that the UK and US support the current UN resolution. Please add your voice to this campaign and demand that the US and UK take responsibility for their actions.
Apologize to the people of LibyaBackground: In 2011, the Swedish government under prime minister Fredrik Reinfelt decided to participate in the Nato-led attack on Libya, which has led to chaos in Libya and caused many Libyans to flee their country. It is obvious that Sweden's involvement was much motivated by the desire to use the Swedish warplane Gripen in war, in order to help the manufacturer SAAB in the promotion of further sales of the plane. In August 2014, prime minister Fredrik Reinfelt appealed to the Swedish people to open their hearts to refugees. It would be a terrible hypocrisy if he does not also apologize to the people, who have become refugees in part because of his government's decision regarding Libya. Image: "Gripen ag2". Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0-fr via Wikimedia Commons
Call For Independent Inquiry of the Airplane Crash in Ukraine and its Catastrophic AftermathIt’s important because there is so much misinformation and disinformation in the media that we are careening towards a new cold war with Russia over this. Initial Signatories for petition: (Organizations for Identification Only) Hon. Douglas Roche, OC, Canada David Swanson, co-founder, World Beyond War Bruce Gagnon, Global Network Against Nuclear Power and Weapons in Space Alice Slater, JD, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, NY Professor Francis A. Boyle, University of Illinois College of Law Natasha Mayers, Union of Maine Visual Artists David Hartsough, co-founder, World Beyond War Larry Dansinger, Resources for Organizing and Social Change Ellen Judd, Project Peacemakers Coleen Rowley, Women Against Military Madness Medea Benjamin, Code Pink Brian Noyes Pulling, M. Div. Anni Cooper, Peaceworks Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance Leah Bolger, CDR, USN (Ret), Veterans for Peace Raymond McGovern, former CIA analyst, VA Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance Gloria McMillan, Tucson Balkan Peace Support Group Ellen E. Barfield, Veterans for Peace Cecile Pineda, author. Devil's Tango: How I Learned the Fukushima Step by Step Jill McManus Steve Leeper, Visiting professor, Hiroshima Jogakuin University,Nagasaki University Kyoto University of Art and Design William H. Slavick, Pax Christi Maine Helen Caldicott, Helen Caldicott Foundation David Krieger, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Brigadier Vijai K Nair, VSM [Retd] Ph.D. , Magoo Strategic Infotech Pvt Ltd Kevin Martin, Peace Action Carol Reilly Urner, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Ann E. Ruthsdottir Kay Cumbow Steven Starr, Senior Scientist, Physicians for Social Responsibility Tiffany Tool, Peaceworkers Sukla Sen, Committee for Communal Amnity, Mumbai India Joan Russow, PhD, Coordinator, Global Compliance Research Project Rob Mulford, Veterans for Peace, North Star Chapter, Alaska Jacqueline Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation, United for Peace and Justice Ingeborg Breines, Co-president International Peace Bureau Judith LeBlanc, Peace Action Felicity Ruby Jerry Stein, The Peace Farm, Amarillo , Texas Michael Andregg, professor, St. Paul, Minnesota Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council, ret.: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Washington Robert Shetterly, artist, “Americans Who Tell the Truth,” Maine Katharine Gun, United Kingdom Dave Webb, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, UK Amber Garland, St. Paul, Minnesota John Feffer, Foreign Policy in Focus Beverly Bailey, Richfield, Minnesota Joseph Gerson, Convener, Working Group for Peace & Demiitarization in Asia and the Pacific Stephen McKeown, Richfield, Minnesota Dominique Lalanne, France Bill Rood, Rochester, Minnesota Tom Klammer, radio host, Kansas City, Missouri Barbara Vaile, Minneapolis, Minnesota Mali Lightfoot, Helen Caldicott Foundation Tony Henderson, spokesperson for universal humanism, Hong Kong Darlene M. Coffman, Rochester, Minnesota Sister Gladys Schmitz, Mankato, Minnesota Edward Loomis, NSA Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.) J. Kirk Wiebe, NSA Senior Analyst (ret.), MD William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.) Jill Stein, Green Party 2012 Presidential nominee Cheri Honkala, Green Shadow Cabinet Ed Asner Norman Solomon, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting Agneta Norberg, Sweden Rick Rosoff, Stop NATO Kathleen Sullivan, Hibakusha Stories Michael Eisenscher, US Labor Against the War Clare Coss, playwright Jean-Marie Matagne, President, Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire (France) Carolyn Rusti Eisenberg, United for Peace and Justice Ben Manski, president, Liberty Tree Foundation
Pardon Dr. Michael BransomeWe must honor dissenters as we honor in this case vets, and in this case because the dissenters were right, and we leave no one behind. When so many pardons are being given to convicted drug dealers, we should grant pardons to (as many) addiction experts (as possible), too. Doing the right thing is always important.
NEW LAWS EMPOWERING & PROTECTING PEOPLE WITH AUTISM WORLDWIDEPeople with Autism, despite their limitations, have much to contribute to society. New skills, perspectives, talents, accomplishments - and therefore they must be protected from neurotypicals who don't know how to approach them properly. We can no longer tolerate this abuse - it is time for the world to act.
Parent Without PunishingWar begins with spanking on moms' knees. The violence learned there you see in school bullying, gangs, and street crime. Home should be a refuge from the world's ugliness. Over 70 years of research has shown the harmful consequences that child punishment does to us parents and taxpayers. Alice Miller's 'For Your Own Good', Murray Straus' Beating The Devil Out Of Them' and Philip Greven's 'Spare The Child' shows us why and how to be a humane parent, and A. S. Neill's 'Summerhill' demonstrates that NO punishment is best.
Oppose militarist and interventionist US foreign policy* WIN/Gallup International’s annual global End of Year survey for 2013, among others, shows that the US is considered to be the greatest threat to peace in the world. We agree, and it's no surprise Gallup did not ask the question in its End of Year survey for 2014. * A 2012 study by Stanford and New York universities' law schools, and numerous reports in the UK's Guardian and Telegraph, The Atlantic, New York Times and others indicate that drone attacks create more terrorists than they kill, due to the high number of civilian casualties. We will never actually know how many civilians are casualties because the US government insists that all male victims of military age are "militants" or "terrorists" unless there is irrefutable posthumous evidence they are not. Even the US captured organization, Human Rights Watch (HRW), and the Council on Foreign Relations question the practice. * HRW says that Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen appeared to violate international humanitarian law and could constitute war crimes with which the US is complicit. * Numerous reports in the UK's Guardian, New York Times, Der Spiegel and even the Washington Post confirm the CIA has been spending about $1 billion/year since 2012 helping the Saudis and Qatar arm Syrian rebels, with little regard for vetting as confirmed by the latest fiasco with US trained "rebels" turning arms over to al-Nusra immediately on entering Syria, then bragging that they had "fooled" the US. Seymour Hersh reported on the "ratline" of captured Libyan arms from Benghazi through Turkey to Syria. * The US can not afford the programs for the 99% that Bernie proposes as long as it is wasting trillions of dollars on the military and foreign interventions, and Bernie's "political revolution" needs to make this clear to poorly informed US voters. * Last, but most importantly, you don't protect the human rights of women, children and civilian men by killing hundreds of thousands of them and forcing them to flee their countries.
repeal the 1947 NSA ACT and bury the NSA + CIAThe CIAs "Third World War" (1947-now) is the third bloodiest war in the history of the world. This is our (trillions and counting) Tax Dollars At Work. Imagine what positive effects that money could have accomplished, with no bloodshed or destruction. Major inroads on poverty,poor health,clean water,illiteracy....? Cheap word wide Solar Energy? Nuclear and other toxic waste solutions?
US Congress, Join the World CourtThe United States is the only developed nation that uses torture. Obama, as well as several of our past presidents should be prosecuted for signing off on that. During our endless foreign wars we have murdered over a million innocent civilians as "collateral damage". Future presidents will continue this process unless they see that ignoring international rules has lethal consequences.