ACTION ALERT: Call for a Nuclear Weapons-Free Middle East; Reject Plans for a US Park to Honor Nuclear Bombs
October 24, 2012 United for Peace and Justice & Hon. Dennis J. Kusinich / US House of Representatives
Iran has attacked no one, yet both the United States and Israel continue to threaten Iran with a military attack unless Iran agrees to halt uranium enrichment. Whether or not one agrees with Iran's interpretation of its rights under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, this is a matter to be resolved by diplomacy, not war. Meanwhile, Rep. Dennis Kucinich has led a successful bipartisan effort to defeat a bill to establish a new national park celebrating the Manhattan Project.
ACTION ALERT: Open Letter to President Obama and the US Congress United for Peace and Justice
(October 23, 2012) -- The threat of war now has been extended into Spring 2013. Iran has attacked no one, yet both the United States and Israel continue to threaten Iran with a military attack unless Iran agrees to halt uranium enrichment. Whether or not one agrees with Iran's interpretation of its rights under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, this is a matter to be resolved by diplomacy, not war.
Unilateral threat or use of military force against Iran, including covert force, would be a violation of International Law and of the UN Charter. We want no part of another illegal war in the Middle East. We have stopped madness for the moment, but the threats remain on the table.
Instead of war, the United Nations is offering a logical solution to the crisis: establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction. (The Secretary-General recommits to UN-backed meeting on nuclear-free Middle East in December.)
For thirty years, the United Nations has called for a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East. The 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference unanimously called for an international conference to begin discussing a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. The proposed Conference is scheduled for mid-December, 2012, in Helsinki, Finland.
The importance of the attendance and diplomatic participation of the United States and Israel in this Conference is crucial and cannot be overstated. It could prove to be a venue for a regional security dialogue. The United States' lack of visibility in promoting this conference is unacceptable and a cause of deep concern. What alternative is there towards securing a peaceful Middle East if not through the doors of diplomacy?
The roles that Israel and the US play are pivotal in establishing security policies of all Middle Eastern countries. The Helsinki Conference provides an opportunity for a Middle East without nuclear weapons. It can lead to further discussions for securing a lasting peace in the Middle East.
We call upon President Obama and the US Congress to actively, and visibly, support the Helsinki Conference for a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.
This is a logical, comprehensive approach to solving the nuclear crisis in the Middle East, which can eliminate the threat of another catastrophic in the region.
This petition has a goal of 500 signatures.
Rep. Kucinich Calls for Defeat of Plan to Establish a Manhattan Project National Park US House of Representatives
UFPJ Applauds Dennis Kucinich for Leading Defeat of Bill in US House of Representatives to Establish Manhattan Project National Park
On September 20, Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich led a successful bipartisan effort to defeat a bill in Congress that would have established a new national park celebrating the technological achievements of the Manhattan Project. The park would include sites in three states including at two currently active nuclear weapons production facilities, Los Alamos New Mexico and Oak Ridge Tennessee.
As Kucinich -- a former Mayor of Cleveland Ohio, and United Nations Liaison for Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament -- declared to his colleagues on the floor of the House: "At a time when we should be organizing the world towards abolishing nuclear weapons before they abolish us, we are instead indulging in admiration at our cleverness as a species. The bomb is about graveyards, it's not about national parks."
According to Kucinich: "The technology which created the bomb cannot be separated from the horror the bomb created…. If there was going to be a new park, it should serve as a solemn monument to Japanese American friendship that rose from the ashes and the worldwide work for nuclear disarmament that continues to this day, rather than a celebration of a technology that has brought such destruction to the world. Failure to recognize this dimension, even in its first iteration, really is a significant injustice."
Unfortunately, the proposed legislation is not dead. Republican Congressman Doc Hastings, who wrote and cosponsored the bill, in a statement after the vote said: "We've shown there is support for this park and will be working towards the goal of enacting this into law before the end of this year."
The legislation is supported by the Obama Administration as well as the Energy Communities Alliance, an organization of local governments that are adjacent to or impacted by Department of Energy activities.
According to Kucinich: "The ‘Bomb Park' is a mistake. We should not spend another $21,000,000 more to ‘spike the nuclear football.' We are defined by what we celebrate. We should not celebrate nuclear bombs." (Read the full text of Congressman Kucinich's inspiring testimony to Congress below.)
For more information contact Jackie Cabasso, convener of UFPJ's Nuclear Disarmament/Redefining Security working group at firstname.lastname@example.org Drop the "Bomb Park" Hon. Dennis J. Kucinich
WASHINGTON, DC (September 28, 2012) -- A bipartisan coalition in Congress, at my urging, recently defeated legislation that would authorize up to $21,000,000 of taxpayer's money to build a series of parks in honor of the Manhattan Project, the project that resulted in the development of the atomic bomb. Supporters of the "Bomb Park" have vowed to bring the bill back to Congress before the year's end. I urge them to focus their energy on more productive activities.
The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. Radiation from the bombs affected a generation of Japanese, and the effects are felt to this day.
Historical revisionists argue that the use of the bomb was necessary to end the war. This argument directly contradicts the opinions of the top military and government leaders, who at the time stated otherwise. General and later President Dwight D. Eisenhower said he thought "dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary."
General MacArthur and several other top military commanders have been similarly quoted. The use of the bombs was a political decision that led to the Cold War and an arms race. Revisionists who celebrate the use of the Bomb fail to mention the trillions spent in Cold War military build ups as the age of nuclear terror enveloped the globe.
The atomic technology cannot be separated from its application. The creation of Bomb cannot be separated from the horror the bomb created. The service of all who sacrificed during World War II would not be honored by this proposed park which would celebrate the triumph of technology over the epic human sacrifice and loss of life.
There are those who assert that the park could serve as a monument to the historical significance of the Manhattan Project and not necessarily the technology behind it or its effects. A museum already exists at the Bradbury Science Museum at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. This museum is instructive. Note how it treats the Bomb:
When you walk into the Bradbury Science Museum, you are greeted on your immediate left by replicas of Fat Man and Little Boy, the two bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The space surrounding them does not include a picture of the leveled Japanese cities or pictures of children with subsequent birth defects. The bombs reside in a section of the museum called "Defense," which presents information on the nuclear arsenal, the nuclear stockpile, plutonium, and explosives.
Other sections discuss how nuclear energy works and how the bomb was triggered. A substantive discussion of the myriad negative impacts of the technology that came out of the Manhattan Project is relegated to a far corner which provides space for public input. This display is the precedent for the translation of policy and ideology in the proposed national park.
The "Bomb Park" is a mistake. We should not spend another $21,000,000 more to "spike the nuclear football." We are defined by what we celebrate. We should not celebrate nuclear bombs.
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