Arms Reduction and Tackling Terror
Subtitle: The will of the many has been overcome by the might of the few.
Karl Miller - Speech Delivered at Conway Hall 7 June 2004
Some ARC Points
.. September 11, 2001
.. Defining Terrorism
.. Similarity between Terrorists and Arms Traders
.. Differences between Terrorists and Arms Traders - Hope
Blood run done, CEASE, NOW PEACE Year
ARC needs your Help
In considering this proposal, Please be mindful of the fact that 4 millions people have died in Africa in the last 6 years due to the effects of conventional arms. 4 millions dead in the last 6 years. Thats like the whole of North London, or Yorkshire, or Yokohama, or Los Angles, or Sydney, or Ireland, or Central African Republic or Uruguay dead in the last 6 years. 4 million dead, yet incredibly, not one person has been prosecuted for supplying the weapons of their destruction and death. It's like legalised aiding, abetting and facilitating mass slaughter.
Dwight D Eisenhower, General Commander Allied Forces, World War 2 and US President 1952-1960 is quoted as saying:
"Every gun, every warship, every tank and every military aircraft built is, in the final analysis, a theft from those who are hungry and are not fed, from those who are naked and are not clothed."
This expresses part of the essence of ARC's (Arms Reduction Coalition) campaign.
The Arms Reduction Coalition (ARC) is campaigning for the states of the United Nations (UN) to agree and implement a legally binding instrument, to reduce the amount of resources spent on arms by between 1 and 5 percent for a period of between 10 and 25 years, and to spend the resources saved on programmes that benefit humanity and the earth. This reasonable proposal is based on Implementing Article 26 of the UN Charter, which the states of the UN have committed "to promote the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the worlds human and economic resources".
The value of the world's arms trade is currently over $840 bn (Billion Dollars) per year. A one percent year on year reduction on the previous years expenditure would make over $8bn available in the first year.
ARC is about resources. Reducing the amount of resources being spent by the states of the UN on things to kill people, and diverting those resources to positive (UN based) humanitarian and Earthism programmes such as poverty reduction, sustainable development, protecting the vulnerable, peaceful resolution of conflict systems, maintaining the environment.
My talks purpose is to suggest some reasons why you should apply your minds to and support this ARC. My talk will give you a brief summary of some of the interesting points raised when using an ARC perspective; discuss arms reduction and terror and call for a "Blood run done, cease, now peace year". Please forgive my style. Consider substance over form.
You can take as many pictures as you like. But, for my personal security, Please do not publish or broadcast my photograph without my written permission. DO NOT PUBLISH MY PICTURE.
Some ARC Points
Countries spent US$840 billion (an estimated 2.6% of world Gross Domestic Product) on weapons and other military expenditure in 2001, an average of US$137 for every person in the world. Yet 2 Billion of the world people live on less than US$2 per day.
Over ten years A one percent year on year reduction on the previous years expenditure would make over $7 bn available for the improvement of humankind and preservation of our common home - Earth. During the same ten years over $7,000 bn would still have been spent on things to kill people.
In summary a 1% to 5% reduction over 10 to 20 years. I hope you agree that is reasonable.
The present cycle must be broken
Without peace NGOs and the UN cannot achieve their aims. Without a reduction in weapons peace will be very difficult to achieve. The present cycle that must be broken is:
A) Large amounts of resources are used to make weapons.
B) The weapons are used to maim and kill people and to destroy their homes, their infrastructure and the environment.
C) The UN, NGOs and people who care are left to pick up the pieces and try to alleviate the resulting poverty and suffering and rebuilding their environments.
D) The world turns. Humanity advances. The weapons are replenished by more
advanced and destructive ones and the cycle starts again.
We are living in the International decade for a culture of peace and non-violence. The preamble of constitution of UNESCO, states
"That since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed."
In the context of ARC. I think academia should consider debating how much of its resources are spent on thinking up and researching things to kill people, while teaching the next generation. But perhaps I am being naïve; as its military so its hush hush in the interests of security. "Like slaves of academic research and sponsorship, who, heedless of their own ethics, use their knowledge to devise things to extinguish others". I think universities should publish the extent of their involvement in arms research and development. Both parents and students should have a right to know if they will be taught by a university and it's teachers who are devising ways to kill people.
Security councils primary responsibility
ARC is aimed at one the Security councils primary responsibility the least diversion for armaments of the worlds human and economic resources. The veto 5 (US, China, France, Russia and the UK) have betrayed this responsibility. Instead of reducing weapons, they have used it as a means of making money, fuelling and satisfying the desire for arms. They have made a killing. Does anyone here support the Drop the debt campaign? Much of the debt owed by developing countries was brought about through the purchase of arms. At a recent Jubilee 2000, Drop the debt meeting we were informed that Some 30% of the loans made to the highly indebted nations is spent on arms. In some parts of Africa armed gangs are wreaking havoc, terrorizing and robbing people, raping women and spreading HIV/Aids. In some parts of Africa it is cheaper to buy a gun than chicken. Yet Africa makes few arms. (The philosophy of some UN states is that everyone should have a gun, this philosophy is being globalized).
The arms trade not only provides the veto 5 with economic wealth but also provides the finance to enable them to develop even more weapons. People in indebted countries will be paying interest and loans for many years to come, some of which will be used to develop more weapons. (Think of the suffering that this will cause many mothers and their children.) The result is that millions have been killed, wounded, maimed, suffered and impoverished. Some responsibility for the wrecking and termination of these lives must be born by the arms makers. "Like slaves of haughty rulers and tyrants', who, heedless of their own liberty, make armaments to overthrow the liberty of others". They make some of their living from making and selling weapons to people to kill other people. They make some of their living from the suffering, blood and killing of people. Effectively, they are using their lives on earth to kill people.
verification and monitoring
ARC will need strong verification and monitoring. Perhaps even a whistle blowers charter to protect those who report on their governments cheating. We require similar principles to the NPT's "reduction and elimination of nuclear arsenals in accordance with the principles of transparency, irreversibility and verification".
UK Arms Sales to Africa
In Prime ministers Question time Wednesday 6 Feb 2002
Mr. Alex Salmond (Banff and Buchan) asked: "Is the Prime Minister aware that on the day of the Twin Towers disaster, there took place in this city an arms trade fair sponsored by the Ministry of Defence? Among the customers at that fair for state-of-the-art weaponry were both sides in the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Would it not be a useful start to the Prime Minister's mission to Africa if he announced that henceforth this country will not sell arms to both sides in African civil wars?"
Part of The Prime Minister (Tony Blair's) reply was: "Our arms sales to Africa run at about 1 per cent. of total arms sales, so it is important to put that in context. There are also, incidentally, jobs and industry in this country to consider. Of course it is important to take care who we sell arms to, and we do." So the only decent work you can provide people to feed their families is making and selling weapons to kill people. Oh that it has come to this.
I listened to a live web cast of Prime Minister Blair's speech at the UN Millennium summit in 2000, and his later speech to the Labour Party Conference, and was hopeful; as he had spent much of those speeches pleading for something to be done about Africa. It would appear he did not get the support or encouragement of other leaders both at home and abroad. Instead of helping save lives in Africa he was hoodwinked and obligated to prosecute the illegal war on Iraq.
4 million dead in 6 years and weapons made by the Veto 5 are being supplied to both sides. It's like the police giving you and your family and friends guns whenever you have a conflict. Or in the case of Iraq, the police giving you guns to attack your neighbours and suppress your family, then laying siege on you, destroying the guns they supplied and your home.
His-story will focus on the recent Iraq war. But Human-story will remember the 4 million dead in Africa in the last 6 years. It will remember those who fate has put in positions of power and leadership, who instead of helping the African peoples have overseen and even facilitated the mass carnage. Some bury their heads in the sand, some dismiss it as not their problem, some spout near empty rhetoric, some throw their hands up in exasperation, some exploit the situation to amass wealth, some focus on other more politically advantageous issues. While the blood of the African Peoples run and run and the cries of their sufferings go unheeded by some impotent and or intransigent leaders. The UK and UN is indeed in crisis; over Africa. A crisis of leadership, morality and integrity.
More Can be done: in SG Progress in combating small arms we read
'To improve the effectiveness of embargoes. Mr Annan recommends the council consider "coercive measures" against states that "deliberately violate" the sanctions and giving attention to blocking the flow of ammunition to areas of conflict. Studies have shown that while weapons may still get to warring parties, when ammunition is blocked, the conflict slackens "Progress depends almost entirely on the political will and technical capacity [of states]
GO Between Dec-Jan 2003 by UN NGLS http://www.un-ngls.org/
What is The Rationale behind ARC?
2. Economic - A UN study by Nobel Prize winning economists concluded that diverting spending from arms to the supply side of the economy would increase employment four times (7 times for the consumption).
3. Human Security - Humans needs peace and security. Arms do not provide peace or security. Indeed countries no longer have to go to war to defeat another country, all they need to do is to ensure there is a large supply of arms available in the other country.
As Douglas Mattern observes "this business is spread around the world with over 1,000 companies in some 98 countries involved in the production of small arms and/or ammunition. Small arms kill over 500,000 people a year in conflicts."
4. Moral - Making things to kill people and destroy life on earth is immoral. Humans have dominion over the earth and are now managing it. Where is the good in having weapons that can destroy the earth and all its peoples many times over? Mankind has all it takes to eliminate wars, poverty and underdevelopment permanently. But mankind also has all it takes to wipe human life off the face of the earth once and for all. During the cold war (when Reagan was President) I read Isaiah 24 in my bible. It says the earth is going to be devastated and left desolate, lie shattered and ruined. I was aware of the CND movement. I became concerned about Nuclear weapons and the prevailing strategy of MAD; Mutually Assured Destruction. This meant that if USSR and the US started to fight they would destroy everyone. Every man, Every woman, Every child, Every animal, Every bird; Everything. From then until now I cannot think of a more evil thought. Yet it was the actually policy of those charged with defending us. To quote George W. Bush "But I also made it clear to [Vladimir Putin] that it's important to think beyond the old days of when we had the concept that if we blew each other up, the world would be safe." George W. Bush, US President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, preaching on the US position on Health and safety (from CAAT news June-July 2000 / Issue 166 - www.caat.org.uk )
Could someone please make it clear to President Bush that a new world order of World military domination / Full Spectrum Dominance / Pre-emptive (Nuclear) Strikes will condemn mankind to a future of conflict, wars, death and the constant threat of annihilation; is a waste of resources and a theft from everyone. Some of the distinctions between tyrants and leaders include the ability to tolerate criticism, ruling by permission rather than might is right, and acting in good faith for the good of all. " In this scenario the US may be seen as Darth Vader's master in Star Wars films; with their star wars system targeting earth; while the rest of the world hopes for a Luke Skywalker who can use the force of good to defeat the empire. I love the American people; I always seem to meet nice ones, but some of their government's policies sucks." (Karl Miller)
"Disarmament is not an end in itself. The end is peace, and security is one of its essential elements. The evolution of international relations reveals today that disarmament is a necessary condition, if not the primary condition, for security since, by a phenomenon of cooperation, it allows other elements of stability and peace to develop. All are well aware that the type of security on which our planet has depended for several decades - a balance of terror based on nuclear deterrence - is a security with a far too high risk level. This awareness should encourage nations to enter into a new phase in their relations, with all due urgency. This is precisely what you are now devoting your attention to, in order to eliminate once and for all the spectre of a nuclear war and of all armed conflict.
The progressive, balanced and controlled elimination of weapons of mass destruction and the stabilization at the lowest possible level of the defensive weapon systems of countries, is an objective that should obtain the necessary consensus as a firs step toward increased security. "
MESSAGE OF JOHN PAUL II TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF UNO DISARMAMENT EFFORTS CANNOT CONCERN ONLY SOME COUNTRIES OR BE CENTERED ONLY ON ONE TYPE OF WEAPON From the Vatican, 31 May 1988 John Paul II
In short Arms reduction will help to tackle terror by:
I shall talk about September 11, Defining Terrorism, and compare and contrast terrorists and arms traders.
September 11, 2001
September 11, 2001 was a great tragedy. My condolences goes out to the families of all those who have lost their loved ones then and due to it. The UN response to Sept 11 was unprecedented ; I have never seen a international community / UN so united. Some SC resolutions were mandatory on all; a first as far as I know; no requests; no asking nicely but states had to do immediately. In all my UN years I have not seen any other SC resolution like it and did not know the SC had such powers.
I remember when watching the TV pictures remarking the it was the end of something and the beginning of something else; and saying out loud "Allah be merciful, Allah be Great"; as a shiver went through my body at the thought that many lives will be lost in the retribution to follow.
Human beings are a dangerous animal. Soon after September 11, I conducted an informal survey; asking people if they can think of anything that could happen that would make them act like terrorists and be prepared to take action that would almost certainly result in their deaths. Sadly many said they could; citing a variety of reasons. Some even arguing that thats what soldiers do; putting their lives at risk for the security of their community.
With D-Day being yesterday; Some may say ARC is dis-respecting our war heroes; ou contrair, ou contrair; the UN was formed after the second world war to prevent wars and stop the loss of life the world had just experienced. As the article 26 and the Eisenhower quote states this also included reducing resources spent on arms. Lets me make it clear; that I am not dis-respecting our war heroes or those who gave their lives in wars for their countrymen. What I am saying is that the UN's prime mission is 'to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war'. I believe, like the Movement for the Abolition of war, that war is not inevitable. It can be banished to the annuals of history. Conflict is inevitable; but you do not have to fight. You do not beat up your partner whenever you have an argument.
"As human beings, we share the trait of being able to experience extreme fear. A variety of events can bring about this level of distress, some occur naturally and others are caused by human action. One such event, terrorism, results from human action. Warfare, in the form we currently recognise as terrorism, was less common in pre-20th-century history than directly killing one's enemy with swords, cudgels or guns. In recent times, there had been a shift from conventional weapons for war and terrorism to a type of weapon for mass destruction (WMD) that includes chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high yield explosives (CBRNE) weapons. These type of weapons, in addition to their obvious effects, may be particularly capable of causing widespread fear, confusion and stress that may alter the long term health of affected communities and the larger community sense of well being."
"The Terror part of Terrorism" by Stamm et al, IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology magazine, Jan / Feb 2004.
"Looking at its historic profile, terrorism is not a new development of recent times, excepting that it took the September 11 tragedy for us to understand the vulnerabilities that we are exposed to in our national infrastructure.
Terrorism is and intricate web of insidious events planned and executed by evil individuals or groups, targeting the destruction of human lives, the environment, the national economy, and the all-encompassing information infrastructure." From "The Many Facets of Homeland Security" by Swamy Laxminarayan ans Luis KUN, IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology magazine, Jan / Feb 2004
So Terrorism is causing a human to experience extreme fear; or Terrorism is and intricate web of insidious events planned and executed by evil individuals or groups, targeting the destruction of human lives, the environment, the national economy, and the all-encompassing information infrastructure.
So the key difference is evil " evil individuals or groups,"; as arms traders are respectable people making a legal living. With the (not targeting; but historical, and actual) large "destruction of human lives, the environment, the national economies", that arms have and are causing; it is difficult to separate arms traders from the evil groups.
Terror, Terror Everywhere
There is Terror, fear and insecurity everywhere. Terror, fear and carnage of terrorist attacks.
Terror and tragedy for the relatives of the 1/2 million the UN says are killed each year by small arms.
Fear and terror in most cities of the world due to Gun crimes on our streets.. In some parts of Africa armed gangs are wreaking havoc, terrorising and robbing people, raping women and spreading HIV/Aids. In Sudan Today, A million people are homeless, fleeing fighting and danger.
There is the terror of poverty. There is the terror of the nuclear threat of annihilation hanging over us all. Any now the war on terror.
To quote Michael Moore "George Orwell had it pegged when he wrote 1984. What most people remember from that book is "Big Brother". But even more relevant today is the part about how The Leader needed to have a "permanent war." He needed to keep the citizens in perpetual fear of the enemy so they would give him all the power he desired. The people wanted to live, so the gave up their freedoms and their liberties. Of course, the only way this could happen is if they were truly convinced that the enemy was everywhere, anywhere, and that they could die at any moment."
Protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.
"A resolution on measures to eliminate international terrorism was passed. 'Many governments and NGOs emphasised the need to strike a balance between the legitimate security concerns of states and the protection of Human Rights in accordance with international laws, as the voiced their concerns that human rights were being compromised in the fight against terrorism. .. Speakers also addressed the intrinsic link between development and human rights, and stressed the need to distinguish between terrorism and legitimate struggles for self-determination. " GA adopted resolution 58/174 on human rights and terrorism strongly condemning the violation of the right to life, liberty and security and profoundly deploring the increasing number of innocent persons killed , massacred and maimed by terrorists in indiscriminate and random acts of violence and terror that cannot be justified under any circumstances" Resolution 58/187 on protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism reaffirms states must ensure that any measures taken to combat terrorism complies with their obligations under international law, in particular human rights, refugee and humanitarian law." GO Between Dec-Jan 2003 by UN NGLS http://www.un-ngls.org/
Kofi's overview of 2003
"In the daily lives of most of the people in the world today, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction are remote and hypothetical threats. The fears that stalk most people are those of poverty, starvation, unemployment, and deadly disease. When they are threatened by weapons, it is most often with those that we might call weapons of individual destruction - Kalashnikovs, machetes, landmines and the like - in societies where law and order have broken down"
Many recent events - including notably the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001 , the war in Iraq and the continuing tragic conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians - have pushed us dangerously close to the 'clash of Civilisations', which an American scholar predicted after the end of the cold war. GO Between Dec-Jan 2003 by UN NGLS http://www.un-ngls.org/
Terror is caused by lots of things. Perhaps we should have different words Terrorist = illegal, TerrorAst = all causers; TerrorUst = legal causes.
So fight against terror is good; but sadly the phrase is just a euphemism for the US fight against certain Terrorists and is often used to quell any dissent or opposition. If care is not taken, we may see many events similar to Tiemanen Square - A country attacking its own people. The fight against terror should be against all human causes of terror.
The Terror part of Terrorism
"We need to make investments in responding to the terror part of terrorism. Investing in research, planning, and responding to the terror part of terrorism enhances our capacity to strengthen our security by improving the functioning of victims and responders alike."
"Terrorist events violently interfere with our daily patterns and often leave individuals, families, and even entire populations in distress and confusion. Terrorists, warlords, and other ministers of chaos count on their ability to instil fear and confusion as methods of bringing political power to bear on an enemy; demoralise populations and create chaotic, fluid situations that are easily exploited. "
" Men are more frequently exposed directly or indirectly to a life threatening event, "yet women report more trauma-related symptoms. While the precise cause of this difference is unknown, women appear to be at greater risk than men for developing PTSD in the aftermath of disasters. . During disasters, women may be expected to take on duties of nurturance - "holding the family together" - and procuring food and shelter. Women fair worse than men in disasters when disruptions are great and expectations for nurturance are high.
Most people will not develop a long term pathology such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but many will experience greater or lesser amounts of disruption in their lives and, often, changes in their belief systems.
" the consequences of violent disruption to life, as is typical with terrorism and armed conflict, have pervasive and insidious effects .. " " Extreme stress may alter the physiological function of a person in the short term or even permanently " Pathological response include PTSD, depression, gynaecological or gastrointestinal diseases; and have associations with many medical diseases. Children and youth manifested age typical symptoms like behavioural problems, hyperactivity, and delinquency and were also vulnerable to PTSD, depression, somatic complaints, and ongoing stress.
In 2000 anxiety disorders cost US approximately $56 billion (cancer $257 diabetes $40 billion).
"The Terror part of Terrorism" by Stamm et al, IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology magazine, Jan / Feb 2004.
Similarity between Terrorists and Arms Traders
Both's business is about killing people.
Terrorists make no bones and have no conscience about killing people. They mostly use weapons supplied by arms traders.
The people who design, develop, make and market weapons must take some of the responsibility for the lives wrecked, suffering caused and people killed. Every time those weapons are used they fulfil their main intended purpose; to kill people. That's why they are made. Ok back in the day one reason for making arms was to provide security. Except the evidence is there for all to see lethal weapons don't bring security; they kill people.
It also amazes me how some very religious and moral people fight against contraception yet support and even invest in the arms industry. The US government has orders prohibiting any US funds going to any country to be used in helping women secure an abortion. It is as if the investment in arms is so profitable that it overrides their beliefs, and the extra people are needed as cannon fodder or test subjects for the arms to be used to kill them.
Conflict of Values
" The United States of America has a long tradition of pride in a number of cherished beliefs. These include liberty, individual dignity, self-determination, prosperity, advancement, national security, international peace, social justice, and humanitarianism, to name a few. It follows that we would protect ourselves against a foe that does not appear to share our moral point of view. Ironically, this may involve compromising or temporarily suspending some of our most cherished rights and freedoms in order to survive. To not do so at all may lead to an extreme point of view practicing non-violence and martyrdom in peaceful opposition towards terrorist activities
While protecting the scientific community is important, no less important is consideration of the powers of government in how it relates to the basic rights to privacy, legal representation, and against imprisonment without charges, cause, or due process. The Patriot Act threatens some of these time-honoured rights, and while our situation is unusual, we must insure that we do not become our own worst enemy, which would actually be a victory to the terrorists. Recent reports on programs such as "60 Minutes" detail how individuals of Middle Eastern decent and of Islamic faith are being detained for indefinite periods of time and imprisoned with no legal or family contact without any formal charges.
Supervision has even been extended to requiring bookstores to disclose book purchases by their customers.
Despite recent rhetoric suggesting that any on who opposes current government strategies is on the side of the terrorists, more reasonable thinking must prevail. The price of silence is too great.
The enemy can reach its goal by ruining us where it matter most - our values.
Terrorists are likely to succeed against us more readily in an atmosphere where citizens see the government an the enemy rather than the terrorist.
Scientists must be encouraged through their own culture of responsibility to work for our security and the public good . Scientists and engineers need to unite internationally to uphold our professional responsibility of serving the welfare of the society, and no one should participate or give aid to a project whose intention is to harm humanity.
From "Conflict of Values and Biodefense Measures" By Subrata Saha and Pamela Saha IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology magazine, Jan / Feb 2004.
Both mainly kill civilians; are indiscriminate
Terrorists target innocent civilians. "Like slaves of hatred and dogma; they, heedless of their own Beliefs seek to use violence to take the lives of the innocents."
In Kofi Annans Millenniums report "We the peoples the Role of the United Nations in the 21st Century.." report we read that most wars are within states and most people killed or injured are civilians. 90% of all war casualties are civilians. Some weapons sold to Nigeria found their way to the IRA to be used against the British people.
From UNDP Human Development Report 2002
"When order breaks down in a country, poor people usually suffer first and most. All too often, violence against civilians emanates from forces under government control. During the 20th century governments killed 170 million people; far more than died in wars between countries."
Both are of Same mind set
Might is right. Kill people and you get your own way; get power. Use violence to solve problems; steal and control resources.
It seems the terrorists only know 1 language; violence.
Chinese saying " The first one that resorts to violence has lost the argument"
The terrorist will use any argument to justify their violence. The arms traders will use any argument to justify more resources for more powerful and destructive weapons to kill people.
They even use religion. Despite religious teaching to the contrary the terrorist use religious rhetoric so much that many from other faiths now view their religion as one of violence. The arms traders have ignored the changes in their churches theologies and policies towards peace and arms; thats akin to those who still argued for and practised slavery after the church declare it was against it. They give the impression that they have the and support blessings of their religions.
The religion, will, and conscience of the many has been overcome by the might of the few.
At the UN General Assembly First Committee (Disarmament) 2003 (NGLS Roudup Feb 2004)
"Jamaica succinctly summarized the frustrations of many governments when it noted that increased militarization had increased the likelihood of a military response as a first option - doing little to enhance security and ensure lasting peace. Steadily growing arms expenditures by "big spenders," the representative of Jamaica said, had caused other nations to increase spending in response to perceived internal or external threats. The legal regime governing international disarmament had also been weakened by the resort to actions that fell outside the scope of the principles of collective security, "The will of the many has been overcome by the might of the few," the representative said."
Differences between Terrorists and Arms Traders - Hope
Terrorists loss of hope. The Root causes of terrorism includes poverty; lack of hope, hatred, and violent intolerance (including political, ideological, religious, racial or other forms of intolerance).
As Fidel Asante puts it
" Conflict is the very common outcome of affairs where Justice and Security are absent. Such circumstances engender and perpetuate lucrative industries and commercial interests that specifically cater to those who are willing to attempt to attain their ends through violent and bloody conflict."
For the arms traders; most do that job because the want to feed their families, have a high standard of living, engage in research etc; some seeing being involved in arms as their only hope.
But they are taking away resources, hope and the ability to survive from others.
Much of the debt owed by developing countries was brought about through the purchase of arms. At a recent Jubilee 2000, Drop the debt meeting we were informed that some 30% of the loans made to the highly indebted nations is spent on arms.
To quote Douglas Roche A former Canadian Member of Parliament and ambassador for Disarmament,
"In at least 84 countries, military expenditures exceed expenditures on health alone. In one out of three developing countries, military expenditures exceed half or more of all expenditures on health and education. In more than one out of six developing countries, military expenditure actually exceeds combined expenditure on all forms of health and education, in eight cases by two to four times. The countries spending the highest proportion of their resources on military uses are also those countries whose standing in human development lags most behind their standing in wealth and GNP. In contrast, countries with the lowest military expenditures generally rank considerably higher in human development than in GNP per capita." (http://www.action-for-un-renewal.org.uk/pages/quotes.htm ). Yet an increasing amount of resources are still being wasted on arms; by both producers and consumers, instead of poverty reduction.
The ARC treaty should include the cumulative sum of all resources spent on all arms. From nuclear weapons to hand guns, from war ships to military air craft, from chemical weapons to biological weapons. As Dwight D Eisenhower puts it "Every gun, every warship, every tank and every military aircraft built". It includes research, development, production, marketing, support, maintenance; all resources (Human, Financial and physical).
And Douglas Mattern "At the same time, UN Secretary General Koffi Annan reminds us that half of humanity lives in poverty, existing on an average of $2 a day. The Arias Foundation reports that world military spending increased from $798 billion in 2000 to $839 billion in 2001. Half of the world's governments spend more on the military than for health care. This expenditure is a monumental waste of our wealth, resources, and intellectual talent for the means of destruction and astonishing profits for the armament companies. The war business is the world's ultimate criminal activity. "
1 is legal 1 Illegal
The impression is that terrorists are deranged; mad men; while arms traders are respectable people. Terrorists operate outside the law and break the law; while arms trader mostly operate within the law; some even making the law. I cannot agree with breaking the law. However imperfect laws are, they are a essential and necessary part of human society. Without them anarchy would prevail. Yet I am concerned about the double standards.
To quote a former arms scientist: "This letter is an appeal to every secretary, technician, custodian, scientist, engineer, and any other person whose participation supports the world war machine. It is a wake-up call before tomorrow comes. Albert Einstein said: "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." If there is any hope for the survival of humanity it is cooperative survival. It is not competitive survival. A military-oriented world economy must change soon to a people's needs-oriented world economy.I know without any doubt in my heart that the people who work on nuclear weapons are as good as people who work anywhere else. I have met some people with such beautiful souls that I find it impossible to explain why they would work on weapons."
"We have a moral obligation and duty to think, speak, and act first as citizens for a peaceful world, and next as scientists. The higher our education is, the higher our responsibilities are for a humane world."
"Science without virtue is immoral science." - Plato.
"My fellow scientists and engineers, the national labs must change from labs of war to labs of peace if there is to be a chance to avoid the extinction of all life on earth.."
The Reasons for My Resignation from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. By Dr Andreas Toupadakis, Ph.D., 2000 firstname.lastname@example.org
If you work in the Arms trade, or military industrial complex; please get another job (perhaps tackling terror); until the ARC treaty is ratified and the carnage ends in Africa. I understand you have to feed your families; but I cannot condone the waste of resources (when so many are in abject poverty) and you making weapons (that are slaughtering the African Peoples). Let your humanity be your guide.
"Strike against all ordinances and laws and institutions that continue the slaughter of peace and the butcheries of war. Strike against war, for without you no battles can be fought. Strike against manufacturing shrapnel and gas bombs and all other tools of murder. Strike against preparedness that means death and misery to millions of human beings. Be not dumb, obedient slaves in an army of destruction. Be heroes in an army of construction."
- Helen Keller
4 million dead in the last 6 years and yet Africa does not produce many weapons. 4 million dead, yet incredibly, not one person has been prosecuted for supplying the weapons of their destruction and death of the 4 million in the last 6 years. It's like legalised aiding, abetting and facilitating mass slaughter.
Peace education, Disarmament Resolutions and anti-terrorism resolutions have passed in UN; I wonder which is now getting more media coverage, funding, greater priority.
"Building a Safer America" and "making the world a safer place" has come to be a catch phrase in America's response to terrorism. The formation of the Department of Homeland security has been a major initiative; with 6 directorates "covering issues pertaining to border and transportation protection, emergency preparedness and response, intelligence, immigration, critical infrastructure, and science and technology". But its efforts mainly focus on technology; not on culture of peace or removing root causes of terrorism. To quote Joe Liberman "Just as our national defence advantage lies in our technological superiority, our homeland security will have to be built on the same foundation."
So in the US, in the fight against terrorism, the main concern is securing the "nation's critical infrastructures that provide energy, water and food supplies, healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunications, transportation, emergency, and financial services." From "The Many Facets of Homeland Security" by Swamy Laxminarayan ans Luis KUN, IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology magazine, Jan / Feb 2004
Bio-terrorism budget in 2003 was $5.9 bn, and increase of $4.5bn - or 319 percent =- from the 2002 level.
To quote Newt Gingrich "Biological warfare, biothreat, is the largest threat to the human race, a substantially bigger threat than nuclear war." E.g. European diseases "decimated indigenous populations of Hawaii", North America, Aztecs. "The bubonic plague was fatal to a third of the population of Europe." "Biothreat is a larger threat than any conceivable conventional war." A most terrifying concern, is what if US; who are the most advanced in Biological warfare, decides to use bio weapons?
Many countries are also spending more on preparation; heath, community disaster preparedness, communications ("tempering the spread of rumour, fear, and uncertainty by conveying trusted and accurate information about risk and protective measures"), informing people of what to do in an emergency. But not less resources on arms. A Paradigm shift is needed.
"Some suggested that the events of 11 Sept 2001 and its aftermath would spark an increase in military spending through higher outlays on security, and thus reverse the fall in military spending since the mid-1980s. The IMF says that recent data confirms this has happened. "
As a share of government expenditure, world-wide military spending increased to between 6.7% and 7.3% in 2002 from between 6.5 and 7.0% in 2000. Increase of approximately $32 bn to $64 bn. This compares with estimates of additional resources required to achieve the Millennium development goals (MDGs, which I call the world plan) ranging from between $40bn and $60 bn annually.
Most of the increase in military spending is attributable to major industrial countries, which account for 60% of world military spending. Over 80% of total increase. Rest Developing world.
GO Between Dec-Jan 2003 by UN NGLS http://www.un-ngls.org/
What's the sense in spending vast amount of resources to tackle one form of terror (and on a solution that has failed to provide peace or security); when the major forms of terror go unaddressed. The terror of the 4 million dead in Africa in the last 6 years; the terror of more Americans dying of gun violence in the USA than all US soldiers killed in all wars in the 20th century; the terror of the half a million killed each year by small arms; the terror of a third of the world living in abject poverty.
There is genuine concern about terrorists getting hold of WMD's. But to it sometimes seem that more resources and political will is employed about possible threats than at the actual realities of 1/2 million deaths per year from small arms. Its like spending most of your resources trying to ensure the dam won't be broken, killing thousands; while millions are being killed by continually wasting resources pumping poisons into the dam.
At the end of the day; I have no problem with the US building a fortress to protect itself against "new and existing threats,". However if they are using resources taken from the rest of the world, impoverishing the peoples of other lands, and prosecuting resource grabbing wars to feather their nest; I have to object (not too loudly mind you; because I want to live).
"Many states also disagreed with the US concept of "new and existing threats," The gravest threats to international security, asserted Pakistan, included the "occupation of foreign lands", "the growing corrosion of the concept of multilateralism" and the "insidious concept of pre-emptive military strikes" GO Between Dec-Jan 2003 by UN NGLS http://www.un-ngls.org/
ARC includes small arms.
As Kofi Annan puts it "We the Peoples"
238 "The death toll from small arms dwarfs that of all other weapons systems and in recent years greatly exceeds the toll of the atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In terms of the carnage they cause, small arms, indeed, could well be described as "weapons of mass Destruction". Yet there is still no global non-proliferation regime to limit their spread, as there is for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons."
Who or what are you most scared of terrorists, governments, criminals (gun crime), external states, internal conflicts, weapons of mass destruction, arms traders. For me personally it criminals and gun crime (what Kofi's calls "weapons of individual destruction") because they have had personal effects on me; and arms traders because they may get upset that arms reduction may reduce their profits. When the terrorism issue is raised I am concerned because I like taking the underground, and going about my business without the fear of being blown up. But for the world as a whole historically I suggest its the arms traders (supplying weapons), governments (killed more people than in wars in 20th century) and internal conflicts. Of course the threat of annihilation from WMDs; especially nuclear and biological is a great concern.
We need to reduce and tackle terror; not just that caused by the illegal terrorists; but all forms of terror.
Move political philosophy away from national interests. In practice this just means what the powerful wants the powerful gets; by fair means or foul. What a misery life would be if each individual only acted in self interests. Perhaps have a political philosophy of people's / planet earth's interests or shared values.
To quote Rhianna Tyson of Reaching Critical Will
"The new century before us is still young. Though it was ushered in with the deaths of 3,000 and wrongly avenged with thousands more, it is not too late for the twenty-first century to re-define power for the next. No longer shall power be equated with nuclear weapons and mortifying arms expenditures. No longer shall we respect those who act selfishly in the name of national interest at the cost of global security. No longer shall the rich and powerful profiteers of blood dictate policy to the people's representatives, who in turn betray those they purport to protect. Power will arise in the combined strength of multilateralism; it shall manifest in the bravery and patience that is cultivated through diplomacy and non-violent means. The world shall be defined by the majority of the world's people who all yearn to live in a prosperous peace, free from the specter of war. "
" and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares "
I think you are all aware of the problem of gun crimes in London. At a meeting last year a Rasta man pointed out that in most countries where there has been a recent struggle for civil or political or economic rights; drugs and gun crimes now hold sway. In the cities of the USA, South Africa, Philippines, Jamaica and the UK to name a few.
Blood run done, CEASE, NOW PEACE Year
The UN has broker the cease-fire and peace in most major wars and conflicts in the world during its existence. Indeed there is no other body that is so respected; that it can perform those important functions. .
After 50 year the UN has come up with Peace One Day 21 Sept each year. Let us hope that it does not take another 50 year to come up with peace 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, decade etc. I am hoping we can short cut this long process by having peace 1 year; a whole year cease-fire everywhere; within the next few year.
While attending the funeral of an uncle who was violently robbed and brutally murdered in cold blood; I could not sleep for days; until I wrote up my thoughts and some of the many ideas expressed by others. In rationalising the violence and my being involved in the Peace movement; I came up with a phrase; that has been developed and extend each time I write a speech. 'Blood Run Done; Cease now Peace'
ARC calling for a UN 'Blood Run Done; Cease now Peace' year aimed at stemming the tide of violence; stopping the mass slaughter in Africa, guns terrorizing millions and killing over half a million people around the world each year?. It asks everyone to try their best to agree, declare, implement, monitor and enforce a cease-fire for a whole year. It will help to reduce the killings and play a major role in the decade of the culture of peace that we are now in. To end a war and gain peace somewhere along the line you must have a cease-fire. It would say; the shooting, the killing, the blood running we are tired of it, we don't want anymore of it, it is time for it to stop, finish, done. To get peace the first step is a cease-fire. So cease; the shooting, the killing, the blood running. What we want now and in future is peace. If only partially successful it will reduce the slaughter and reduce the effects of wars, gun crimes and terrorism.
"Blood run done, CEASE, NOW PEACE".
Let us say it together. "Blood run done, CEASE, NOW PEACE". Its like some of you do not understand. We are saying; the shooting, the killing, the blood running we are tired of it, we don't want anymore of it, it is time for it to stop, finish, done. To get peace the first step is a cease-fire. So cease; the shooting, the killing, the blood running. What we want now and in future is peace. Let us say it together again. "Blood run done, CEASE, NOW PEACE".
It would apply internationally. Let me hear if you agree.
To all those who make and supply weapons . "Blood run done, CEASE, NOW PEACE".
To our UK government . "Blood run done, CEASE, NOW PEACE".
To the states of Europe . "Blood run done, CEASE, NOW PEACE".
To the biggest military power on earth the USA . "Blood run done, CEASE, NOW PEACE".
To those killing people in the Americas such as in Caribbean, Brazil and Colombia . "Blood run done, CEASE, NOW PEACE".
To those places in violent conflict in Asia such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Philippines, Indonesia, Israel and Palestine . "Blood run done, CEASE, NOW PEACE".
To the perpetuators of gun crimes in our cities . "Blood run done, CEASE, NOW PEACE".
To the terrorists . "Blood run done, CEASE, NOW PEACE".
To the facilitators and killers in Africa where over 4 million people have died in the last 6 years . "Blood run done, CEASE, NOW PEACE".
It will take almost a whole year to prepare, and will require some resources.
Everyone will benefit. We should all be able to sleep easier in our beds.
Hopefully it will mean less terrorist attacks. Terrorists will get to live (even though some of them are so bitter with hate the want to commit suicide for their cause. Terrorists are more likely to have their concerns addressed; as the authorities won't feel they are putting a gun to their head; peace is more conducive to amicable settlement of disputes than violence. Criminals are less likely to get killed (80% of those involved in drugs and gun crime die before reaching 30 years old); in fact everyone of us less likely to get killed. And hopefully the conflicts in Africa will cease.
ARC needs your Help
ARC are asking for your support. This could take the form of :
a) Just saying you support the proposal joining the coalition as a member or just endorse the ARC resolution.
b) Offer of resources (human, financial, physical)
c) Getting academics, experts, policy makers or you to write papers (that we can publish) analysing the proposal.)
d) Writing letters to MPs, Media, web sites, phone the radio etc in support of the proposal. Write to your leaders and leaders of countries like USA making arms and the UN in New York
e) Join some of the organizations that support ARC such as CND (Campaign for Nuclear disarmament) and WILPF (Women's International League for Peace and Freedom) and ACTUN (Action for UN Renewal), WDC (World Disarmament Campaign), and CAAT (Campaign Against the Arms Trade).
f) Use ARC as an analysis tool. Next time you are told there are not enough resources; point out the resources wasted on arms.
We will be pleased to come and speak about the proposal to your group (resources permitting) and shall be holding other meetings in future to which we will invite you if you so wish. Contact us via our web site at www.arcwebsite.org
Divert resources from arms to positive humanitarian and Earthism programmes such as poverty reduction, sustainable development, protecting the vulnerable, conflict prevention, peaceful resolution of conflict systems, maintaining the environment.
That is what the Charter of the United Nations calls for. Some 191 states have signed up to the charter. It is full time they live up to their commitments and responsibility to ensure the least diversion for armaments of the worlds human and economic resources.
The request calls for a 1% to 5% reduction over 10 to 25 years of the resources being spent by the states of the UN on things to kill people. I hope you agree that is reasonable.
Read more on our web site at www.arcwebsite.org
It is Estimated that the amount required to implement the Millennium Development Goals (the world agreed plan) is $50bn a year or over 15 years $750 bn , Amount that will be spent on arms over same 15 years $12,000 bn (16 times more). Current projections are that the MDGs will be underfunded, targets not met, many will die; arms spending increased, resources wasted, terror increased, many will die.
Do you think there are too many arms?
Do you think too many resources are being spent on weapons;
Do you want more resources to be spent on the environment, or tackling diseases, or helping the poor, or on development, or on conflict prevention;
Do you think that the arms trade or making things to kill people is abhorrent;
Do you want the possibility of paying less tax.
Do you want less guns on our streets?
If you said yes then Join the Arms Reduction Campaign. Please support and take on this request, join ARC, and let we the peoples start upon a new direction of peace and better usage of our Earths extremely precious resources
Arms reduction will help to tackle terror by:
The earth's precious resources being wasted on arms.
Over 4 million dead in Africa in the last 6 years.
Gun crimes on our streets.
Terrorist committing heinous acts against civilians.
To all the governments, arms makers, suppliers, terrorists, gunmen and killers we say "Blood run done, CEASE, NOW PEACE".
© Copyright Karl Miller 2001 - 2004