Gerardo Femina / NonViolence.cz | EuropeForPeace.eu | No Bases Initiative – 2008-06-04 00:23:12
PRAGUE (September 2006) — For the past several decades humanity has been accompanied by a dream: technological development creating an evolved, righteous and rich society, where one by one solutions would be found for the world’s remaining problems.
We imagined the year 2000 as a time when words like war, terror, poverty would have lost their meaning. Unfortunately, even though it is hard to accept, our reality is different from this dream.
We live in the absurdity of wars, terror, suffering and material and spiritual poverty. In certain nations, where people live in a period of relative peace, war is just a word heard on television, but in reality war is death, destruction, poverty, pain, it is the failure of human civilization.
Today there are more than 30 wars simultaneously taking place. Every year weapons kill 500,000 people, , 1,300 people per day, one person every minute. World military expenditure has notably increased in recent years, reaching 1,120 billion dollars in 2005. Half of this was spent by the USA, followed by the United Kingdom, France, Japan and China. The ranking of horrors then continues with Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Russia, India, South Korea, Canada, Australia, Spain and Israel.
The total outlay of these 15 countries constitutes 84% of world military spending. These are absurd figures, when we consider that the G8 summit, in 2005, earmarked only 50 billion dollars to support Africa. Industrialized countries are the leading exporters of small arms. The five countries which are permanent members of the United Nations’ Security Council control 88% of the global weapons’ market.This means that nations sitting at conferences for peace are the same ones which produce weapons and have a great interest in peace never being achieved.
In 1945, two nuclear bombs were tested on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, against a country which was already collapsing and ready to surrender: 180,000 dead in a few seconds! The nuclear horror was added to the horror of the concentration camps. In the following years, the nuclear arms race brought humanity to the brink of world conflict several times. In 1970 the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty became effective: nuclear powers committed to dismantling their arsenals and not increasing their supplies; while other countries gave up atomic weapons.
In the 1980’s, Gorbachov and the authors of Perestroika, in a moment of high international tension, began a policy of one-sided disarmament. It seemed that the danger of an atomic war was over and that an era of reduced tension was beginning. In the early Nineties, agreements between the United States and Russia brought about the dismantling of many thousands of tactical nuclear warheads. But in 1995 China and France, great popular protests notwithstanding, began nuclear testing once more, followed by India and Pakistan.
In May 2005, the Seventh Conference of revision of the Treaty failed. The main reason for this failure was the refusal of the United States to create a nuclear arms’ free area in the Middle East and that of nuclear powers to develop a program for total disarmament. NATO acts outside the Treaty’s agreements, openly violating it.
The United States has located bombs in various American bases in Europe: 150 nuclear warheads in Germany, 20 in Belgium, 20 in Holland, 110 in Great Britain, 90 in Italy, 90 in Turkey. Today the United States continues following an old plan: the “Star Wars” shield. They want to install missiles capable of intercepting possible enemy attacks in Europe. The US has always tried to avoid a possible nuclear conflict striking their territory by trying to shift the prospective war theatre to other continents, such as Europe.
Reductions throughout the nineties notwithstanding, there are 30,000 nuclear warheads in the world today, enough to destroy the entire planet 25 times over.
According to official data, Russia has admitted owning 20,000 bombs, the United States 10,500, France 450, China 400, Great Britain 185 and, according to international observers, Israel owns at least 200 bombs, followed by India, Pakistan, and North Korea.
In the meantime the nuclear race has started again: in 2004 Russia carried out 16 experimental explosions of ballistic missiles. Great Britain plans new nuclear bombs for its Trident submarines and the US is designing small bombs to be used on the battlefield, and others that can penetrate deeply into the ground. France and the United States; furthermore, affirm they are ignoring their commitment to not using nuclear bombs first.
There is a great danger that a nuclear device will explode, especially considering that today it is possible to transport a bomb, ten times more powerful than the one launched on Hiroshima, in a briefcase.
Beyond the official reasons, we can observe a destructive intention in the various conflicts which are exploding over the control and appropriation of resources. The “masters of the universe”, as named by the Financial Times, are showing not only incompetence and irresponsibility but, above all, that their minds are diseased and led only by the primitive logic of violence. Millions of people are suffering because of wars they have not chosen and for which they do not even know the apparent reasons. In this atmosphere, violence is growing and spreading to all areas.
We are faced with a new fight involving the whole planet: on the one hand a few cruel men with their yes-men, and on the other, billions of people, forced to live in pain, in terror and in loneliness without a future. We are faced with a choice: growing peace or growing destruction.
World wide a pacifist and nonviolent movement is developing, uniting people of different races, religions, cultures and generations. It is a new sensibility, an understanding that what happens in one area ends up influencing all the rest: there can be peace and well being either for everyone or for noone!
This Movement is inspired by spiritual Guides such as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Silo. Its method of action is nonviolence: putting pressure on governments and on those who have the power to decide so they can re-assess their disastrous choices. We want military expenditure to be converted into expenditure for peace and well being. Ten percent of military spending is enough to begin overcoming the scourge of world hunger.
By choosing the way of growing peace, living conditions in poorer countries will improve; preventing forced migrations. In more economically-developed countries there will be investment in the pillars of true civilization: education and health,which today are moving dangerously towards blind privatization. A new international era of reduced tension will be born and a new collaboration among peoples, not favoring clashes among cultures but, instead, convergence of diversity towards a Universal Human Nation.
Construction of new atomic weapons must cease immediately and talks for progressive dismantling of all nuclear warheads must begin. Nuclear powers must start proportional disarmament supervised by the United Nations.
Countries occupying foreign territories must withdraw their troops. We say enough to the hypocrisy of “humanitarian” wars.
Our government must take side against nuclear re-armament policies, it must not support war.
We ask the scientists who are building the weapons, to understand the grave responsibility weighing on them and to put their intelligence and knowledge in favour of a science of peace and not a science of war.
We ask journalists not to be spokesmen for the powerful, but to give voice to justice and truth.
We ask armies to serve peoples and not a few unscrupulous men who want the Earth’s destruction.
We ask the few politicians who still have a heart and reason to support every initiative for disarmament and against war, even if it means siding against their own governments and parties.
But this message is especially for you: spread this Movement and this hope in every corner of the Earth. Fight against wars and overcome the violence dwelling in your own heart.
Light up your rebellion, light up your torch for hope!
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