November 1, 1995


Truth, Justice, Freedom, Equality, ideals which introduced the Declaration of Independence, and justified the formation of the United States. Today the United States government is preparing to argue to the World Court that nuclear weapons are legal. But these arguments do not reflect unanimity among U.S. political leaders. In fact there are members of the United States House of Representatives who are calling for global nuclear disarmament.
The "Nuclear Disarmament and Economic Conversion Act" (HR-1647 in 1995) has twice been proposed as a bill by Washington DC's Congresswoman, Eleanor Holmes Norton, after the idea won in a grassroots voter initiative in Washington DC in 1993.
As the World Court considers the United States' arguments here at this historic time, we hope it will consider Congresswoman Norton's legislative dissent. She's not alone. Eight of Ms. Norton's colleagues are co-sponsors: Representatives Earl Hilliard (Alabama); Walter Tucker III (California); John Lewis and Cynthia McKinney (Georgia); Al Wynn (Maryland); James Oberstar and David Minge (Minnesota); and Charles Rangel (New York).
This law, if passed, is a commitment by the United States government that it will eliminate all its nuclear weapons if everyone else does, and will earmark the billions of dollars saved each year for converting the nuclear weapons industries to provide for human needs such as health care, education, housing, food, etc., and, perhaps most importantly, for environmental restoration. We believe such a commitment will set a profound example of enlightened leadership from a country which needs to prove its claim to the ideals of truth, justice, freedom, and equality.
Governments for too long have been making decisions which have led humanity to the brink of extinction. But governments consist of people, with hearts, with developing minds and souls, capable of growth. People know that trusting genocidal weapons is illogical, and nuclear disarmament is becoming increasingly desirable -- except, of course, for those who profit from the nuclear arms trade and the politics of fear. At the moment the politicians of fear wield considerable force in the United States. All of us old enough to pay taxes have been both victims and supporters of the irresponsible, profit and "security" driven, self-serving, dehumanized nuclear age. But people are learning to look behind the media hype, coming to understand reality and our own responsibilities to help effect a more optimistic future for the children we love. We can change. Law is whatever humanity imagines. The majority eventually rules.
We ask the World Court to outlaw nuclear weapons, so those few governments who insist on holding life hostage to profit will finally catch up with everyone else. We ask everyone to urge ALL nuclear powers to promise to eliminate their nuclear weapons together, by the year 2000. We ask all legislators to work together to create humane, enforceable law.