Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Light Morning Reading on Peace and Justice 

Reading things like this by David Willis and Walter Enloe make it hard to hold down my oatmeal:

The news from Washington this past week had eerie echoes of the lead-up to the war in Iraq. Now that George Bush has been re-elected President what might we anticipate as future scenarios? If the doctrine of pre-emption is followed the next conflict is likely to go nuclear.

When I heard Powell speaking off the cuff about Iran’s nookyoolar plans, my first thought was “where have I heard this before?” and then, I confess, I thought, “No, look at the iWaq clusterfuck—there’s no way they’d do that again.” But then again, we are dealing with the same people, people who apparently believe a well-placed nuke here or there for preemptive purposes is okay… now I’m depressed again, and more convinced than ever that peace and justice must be the focus of massive demonstrations nationally and smaller actions locally, or we could be facing a preznit who believes that “extremism in the defense of [American hegemony and oil profits] is no vice” and who would order the use of “tactical” nukes. At least congress killed the funding for the preznit’s new nookyoolar toys for the time being.

The defeat over the weekend of President Bush's attempts to fund research and possibly development of a new family of nuclear weapons was hailed Monday by arms control advocates as their biggest success in more than a decade.

…A major stumbling block to the administration's plans was a maverick Republican, Rep. David Hobson of Ohio, chairman of the House Appropriations energy subcommittee, who feared the funding would lead to a new arms race.

Unlike other military programs, nuclear weapons are overseen by the Energy Department, which is monitored by Congress' energy committees.

"What worries me about the nuclear penetrator," Hobson told one symposium when the administration proposal was being debated, "is that some idiot might try to use it."


One Republican with some sense, and we can sing hooray. Every victory counts. Still, it’s a nagging worry. Because “some idiot” might indeed try to use a nuke—it’s not like we don’t have any already, and, the idio—er, I mean, administration says the proposal isn’t dead and might come back in 2006. Vigilance. Who knows what else is being stuffed into these spending bills right now? Readers? So that one up above is peace, here below is justice:

The US debt will climb to $7 trillion a year in 2004, five times the entire debt of the third world. Other countries, notably Japan and China, hold one-third of that debt. This is at a time, we might note, that the Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs has proposed that the world's poverty could be eliminated with an investment of $150 billion.

But then, eliminating poverty would make the use of military might needless, and all of those generals would be out of work. Willis and Enloe end with a quote:

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, days before his 1968 assassination, "The world is more and more of a neighborhood. But is it any more of a brotherhood? If we don't learn to live together as brothers and sisters, we shall perish together as fools."

Okay, I’m focused.

from Going Nuclear: The Coming Wars with Iran and North Korea

UPDATE: A link to a website that shows in brief where the money's going in the omnibus spending bill...good place to start, anyway. I'm sure there's more tucked in there:


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